Window 8 90-day Trial and VS 2012 Ready To Download
Window 8 90-day Trial and VS 2012 Ready To Download
Written by Lucy Black   
Thursday, 16 August 2012

Microsoft has released a 90-day free trial of Windows 8 that anyone can download. MSDN subscribers can also download the full versions and the final version of Visual Studio 2012. So what is the official launch all about?

If you want to try out Windows 8 you can download a 90-day trial for free from  the Evaluation Center.




This is supposed to target developers who want to create apps for Window 8 but you can imagine that potential users will also be downloading it. ISO images are available for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Enterprise edition. You have to register to download and the version expires in 90-days without an option to upgrade or downgrade. You also have to activate it within 10 days and no technical support is available. If you are going to try it out then it would be advisable to install it using virtual machine or on some spare hardware.

Judging by the reactions from would-be desktop users of Windows 8 in the office, you are unlikely to want to keep the OS unless you have a touch screen device and even in this case you will probably want to go back to Window 7. The unknown element is how the OS performs on ARM-based tablets and for this we will have to wait for the official launch.

If you have an MSDN or Technet subscription or are a Microsoft Partner or Volume licensing client then you can download the full OS in either Standard or Enterprise editions, complete with license key. Once again, of course, there is no ARM version to try out.


As well as Windows 8, the final versions of Visual Studio 2012 are also available for MSDN subscribers to download.

Non-subscribers can download the Express and Express Web versions. However, as already noted, the new versions will only run under Windows 8 and they can only be used to create apps for TUIKAM, the user interface formerly known as Metro, i.e. you can't use it to build desktop apps.

A version of Express for the new Windows Phone 8 and one for desktop apps that will work under Windows 7 will be released later in the year.



Click to enlarge

There is also a preview version of Blend that works with WPF 4.5 and Silverlight 5 - both features missing from the version included with Visual Studio 2012.

The official launch date for VS 2012 is September 12th, 2012.

Overall it is difficult to quantify the response to the availability of the final version - users tend to be vocal about any change but the grey UI remains and there are many backward compatibility problems with XP and .NET 4.0. Overall the response seems to be largely negative with a few enthusiastic supporters of the "flat grey" UI shouting how wonderful it all is.

I can't remember a release of Visual Studio when the strongest reaction was to the UI, and mostly not even its functionality but its style.

Since when has programming been about style?


More Information

Windows 8 Trial Download

VS Express Download
Blend preview version

Related Reading

Metro? Just Call It Windows 8

Visual Studio 11 Express Is Metro Only

Visual Studio 11 Goes Color - Slightly

VS 11 Grey Goop - Few Happy Without Color

Three Windows 8 Editions Clarify the WinRT Position

How Microsoft Could Have Done Metro






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