Microsoft has made a 90-day trial version of Windows 8 available for download. It's intended for developers and IT professionals to evaluate the final build of the new operating system before its official release on 26 October, but anybody can check it out.
The Windows 8 Enterprise edition on offer includes language support for Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, English (UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish. It is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours, and you must register it before use.
READ: Windows 8 review
There are some caveats to installing this trial version, however. After the 90-days are up, you must reinstall your former operating system or a full licensed version of Windows 8 when it is released. You cannot upgrade to the full version from inside this 90-day trial.
Microsoft, in fact, advises that you install the trial edition in a virtual environment or on a separate hard drive or partition.
You are also warned that if you fail to activate the trial software within 10 days of installing it, your PC will play silly beggers.
"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," the company says.
Minimum specifications required for the Windows 8 Enterprise edition 90-day trial are a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM for a 32-bit machine, 2GB for 64-bit, 20GB of hard disk space, and a graphics card that supports Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics with WDDM driver.
Microsoft has also released an Release to Manufacturing (RTM) final version of Windows 8 for MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and Technet subscribers.
For more on the 90-day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise, check out the dedicated website at msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx.
Have you seen or used Windows 8 yet? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below...