Whoops! It turns out that those free, preview versions of Windows 8 aren’t as “free” as one might think …
Microsoft has released three previews of its upcoming operating system Windows 8 to the public. The Windows 8 Developer Preview, Consumer Preview and Release Preview have been, and in many cases are, used by millions of users to test the functionality of the Windows 8 operating system.
These versions will expire eventually and you will be notified in advanced when this is going to happen. An expired version of the operating system is no longer activated, and your only option to get it activated again is to install or upgrade to a newer version of Windows 8.
Lets take a look at the expiration dates for the various preview releases of Windows 8:
- The Windows 8 Developer Preview initially was said to expire on March 11, 2012. Microsoft however has released an update that postponed the expiration date to January 15, 2013.
- The expiration date of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is January 15, 2013 as well.
- The Windows 8 Release Preview will expire on January 16, 2013.
- The Windows 8 Enterprise RTM trial can be activated for 90-days but not after August 15, 2013. It will automatically expire after the 90-days period, at the latest 90 days after August 14, 2013
To find out when your copy expires, hit Windows, type in winver and press enter. Some Developer Preview or Consumer Preview versions may also expire on January 16, 2013 instead.
Now that we know when the different versions of Windows 8 expire, we need to take a look at the effects of that on the system and your ability to work with it. According to Microsoft, the following will happen after the license of the operating system expires:
- The desktop background will turn black and your current wallpaper is removed. While you can still change it back, it will be removed again in regular intervals.
- A permanent notification is displayed on the desktop stating that the copy of the operating system is not genuine
- The PC will shut down every hour automatically so that you may lose unsaved work in the process.