IT professionals and developers may now download the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 8. Downloads are available through Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet to subscribers. The general public will have access to the new OS on October 26.
However, a 90-day trial of the new operating system is available. And while it is intended for IT professionals and developers, all you need to download the trial is a Microsoft email account. The necessary software will come as an .iso file and users will then be able to burn it to a CD or put it on a flash drive, and then install the new OS as they normally would.
The trial version available for download is the Enterprise edition of the software. It is available in 32- and 64-bit versions. 1GB RAM required for 32-bit, and 2GB for 64-bit. Other minimum requirements include 1GHz processor, 20GB hard disc space, and DirectX 9 graphics card with WDDM driver. These hardware requirements are the same as for Windows 7.
After 90 days, users must return to their previous OS, or purchase the licensed version of Windows 8 and reinstall it on their computer. There is no option to upgrade straight from the trial software to the licensed software.
To notify the user that the trial period is over, the desktop turns to a black background and a notice is shown that informs the user that they are using an invalid operating system. Every hour, the computer will shut down without warning, and the user will lose any unsaved work.
The good news is that users who download the trial version will have plenty of time to decide whether they wish to purchase the licensed version of Windows 8, which will be available prior to the expiration of the trial. To avoid problems, though, mark your calendar a couple of weeks before the expiration so you aren’t hit unprepared when the trial does expire.
With the Windows 8 downloads now available, Usenet newsgroups are sure to feature plenty of discussion of the new OS from Microsoft. Usenet has long featured a very active and interested technology community, and discussion often turns to new products and innovations within the industry.