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Microsoft releases 90-day Windows 8 trial

Microsoft releases 90-day Windows 8 trial

Microsoft's free 90-day trial of Windows 8 may sound tempting, but be sure to read the fine print first.

Microsoft has released a free version of Windows 8, which you can use for 90 days - but there are a couple of catches you should be aware of before taking the plunge.

Aimed at developers, but open to all, the Windows 8 Evaluation for Developers gives users a full, unrestricted copy of the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8, free to use for a 90 day period. Designed for use by those who can't afford a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or other software licensing schemes, it allows administrators to test out their systems and software for compatibility before the general release of the operating system in October.

Before you rush to download it, be aware of caveat number one: the version of Windows 8 on offer is the Enterprise Edition, which is designed for corporate use. In other words, expect to see more of a focus on using the software with Active Directory domains and Exchange servers, rather than getting the most out of your games with DirectX 11.1.

Secondly, once your 90 days are up there's no upgrade route to a final release: the software will simply stop working, and you'll have to create a fresh installation of a new operating system. You'll be able to back up your files, of course, but system settings won't be transferable to final release versions of Windows 8 - even for those who are getting hold of the official Enterprise Edition at launch.

Still, free is free, and unlike previous Windows 8 previews this represents the final and finished state of the operating system - at least, the version which will be available for corporate mass-licensing. If you'd like to check it out for yourself, you can download the demo directly from Microsoft.

12 Comments

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Flibblebot 16th August 2012, 13:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
...getting old of the official...
At the very least, shouldn't there be an apostrophe - or is it that the downlload takes a long time to complete? ;)

Is there a massive difference between the enterprise & home editions?
azrael- 16th August 2012, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
...getting old of the official...
At the very least, shouldn't there be an apostrophe - or is it that the downlload takes a long time to complete? ;)

Is there a massive difference between the enterprise & home editions?

Not really, no. Just think of the Enterprise version as "more". All the stuff that's shared between versions behaves identically.
Gareth Halfacree 16th August 2012, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
At the very least, shouldn't there be an apostrophe - or is it that the downlload takes a long time to complete? ;)
Hmm. I appear to have been channelling Mary Poppins-era Dick van Dyke for a moment. Fixed, ta!
Star*Dagger 16th August 2012, 17:58 Quote
I'll try it on one of my older quad core systems with 8gigs of ram, but from what I hear it is a disaster.
dancingbear84 16th August 2012, 18:18 Quote
I can't download this version atm but I'm growing to like the preview, apart from a few niggles which I put down to being beta.
play_boy_2000 16th August 2012, 18:49 Quote
Is the enterprise version coming with metro enabled by default. If so... lololol
Pookie 16th August 2012, 20:04 Quote
I'm gonna give this a try tonight, I have an old Crucial C300 128Gb SSD to try it on.
Buzzons 16th August 2012, 20:23 Quote
Quote:
Before you rush to download it, be aware of caveat number one: the version of Windows 8 on offer is the Enterprise Edition, which is designed for corporate use. In other words, expect to see more of a focus on using the software with Active Directory domains and Exchange servers, rather than getting the most out of your games with DirectX 11.1.

can you please remove that as that's totally wrong. It'll have exactly the same performance as any other Windows 8 build in regards to DirectX. The only thing that differs is it has additional group policy objects and supports direct access vpn / branch cache etc (similar to the Windows 7 Enterprise version) - The stuff found in Windows 8 Pro is *identical* to that found in Win 8 enterprise...
Buzzons 16th August 2012, 20:24 Quote
Quote:
play_boy_2000 2 hours ago
Is the enterprise version coming with metro enabled by default. If so... lololol

Yes, why wouldn't it? Microsoft have removed the deprecated start bar from Windows 8, why would the have a branch of the Windows 8 kernel that didn't use the new user interface? This isn't Linux, it's unified.
leexgx 16th August 2012, 22:42 Quote
I have to agree the not as good for gaming part (the whole paragraph is completely incorrect and it should be removed)
Tattysnuc 16th August 2012, 23:11 Quote
It'll be useful for use in a VM. Nice one MS. Thank you for doing something sensible!
Bede 16th August 2012, 23:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzons
Quote:
Before you rush to download it, be aware of caveat number one: the version of Windows 8 on offer is the Enterprise Edition, which is designed for corporate use. In other words, expect to see more of a focus on using the software with Active Directory domains and Exchange servers, rather than getting the most out of your games with DirectX 11.1.

can you please remove that as that's totally wrong. It'll have exactly the same performance as any other Windows 8 build in regards to DirectX. The only thing that differs is it has additional group policy objects and supports direct access vpn / branch cache etc (similar to the Windows 7 Enterprise version) - The stuff found in Windows 8 Pro is *identical* to that found in Win 8 enterprise...

Agreed, it's a ridiculously inaccurate statement to see in an article supposedly written by a professional.
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