Windows 8

Slideshow: Install Windows 8 Enterprise for a free evaluation

Evaluation license expires on 12/17/2012

Installing the evaluation version

Once the DVD is ready, you can install the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation. For the best possible experience while you use the evaluation and for ease of disposal once the 90 days are up, I recommend that you install Windows 8 Enterprise to a VHD and use it in a dual-boot configuration as I showed you in the article titled Dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 using a VHD.

For my example installation, I used the Native VHD Boot feature in Windows 7 Home Premium system. I created VHD and then installed Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation onto the VHD. As soon as the installation was complete, I had a dual-boot system on which I can now experiment with Windows 8 Enterprise.

While the instructions on the MSDN Evaluation Center mention that you are required to activate the product within 10 days after installing, I discovered that my copy was already activated when I accessed the Windows Activation page in the Action Center.

Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic


Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.


I have no need for Win8 Enterprise, though I'll move from Win7 to Win8 eventually. Is there anything in Evaluation version of Win8 Enterprise that's not in Win8 Standard or Win8 Pro that I could tuck away to use when I get Standard or Pro?


"Furthermore, there is no way to upgrade from the evaluation to a real Windows 8 version. Your only option is to trash the installation." Yikes

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz messages in Mission Impossible, the evaluation is locked down and will self destruct in 90 days. ;-)