windows 8 Rtm evaluation version

As we all know, Windows 8 RTM was released yesterday at 10 am PST (where Microsoft Redmond is located).

As a MSDN or TechNet subscriber you can download your ISO and keys and get right into the meat of Windows 8. But what about those of us who don’t have subscriptions? You can also get your hands on a 90 day evaluation copy of Windows 8 RTM!

Here’s the link to get it whether you are a subscriber or not:


If you are going to download the 90 days evaluation version, here are some caveats you need to concern yourself about, I’ve highlighted the ones I think are most important:

Things to Know Before You Start

  • The evaluation edition will expire and cannot be upgraded.
  • To upgrade, the evaluation must be uninstalled and a non-evaluation version of Windows must be re-installed from your original installation media.
  • Consider running the evaluation edition in a virtual environment or installing on a separate hard drive or partition. The will allow you to upgrade your original Windows installation to Windows 8.
  • ****During registration (required) you must login with a Microsoft account and provide your name, e-mail address and country.*****
  • You are required to activate the product online within 10 days after installing.
  • Once the evaluation is installed, you cannot upgrade. To revert to a previous version of Windows, you must do a clean install from your original installation media.

Activation and Usage Guidelines

  • Back up your files and settings before installing this evaluation and again prior to the 90-day expiration.
  • Upon installation, you will have 10 days to activate this evaluation online. Windows will prompt you to activate. A product key is not required for this software.
  • You must complete activation before August 15, 2013, to use this evaluation.
  • Once you activate, you have up to 90 days to use the software. You can track the amount of time you have left by referring to the “watermark” in the lower right corner of the Windows desktop.
  • If you fail to activate this evaluation within the 10-day grace period, or if your evaluation period expires, the desktop background will turn black, you will see a persistent desktop notification indicating that the system is not genuine, and the PC will shut down every hour losing unsaved work.
  • Following the evaluation period, you will need to replace the operating system on your test computer and reinstall all your programs and data. It is not possible to upgrade the evaluation to a licensed working version of Windows 8. A clean installation is required.

So what’s the skinny of the bold areas? You CANNOT upgrade from the evaluation version so it’s best to install onto a lab kit or virtual machine.

I’ve also starred a bullet point because it regards registration. You DO NOT have to register to log on into windows 8. In the setup, instead of choosing express set up, choose customize and when prompted, choose sign in locally. This will allow you to create a local account instead of a Microsoft/windows account.


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