MSDN and TechNet subscribers can now download the latest edition of Microsoft’s Windows 8 RTM. A similar version has also been made available to the general public for a 90-day trial period. However, this version of Windows 8 imposes specific restrictions and could pose problems when installed.
Windows 8 RTM Free Trial: What You Need to Know Before You Install the Software
I can’t imagine how anyone could turn down an opportunity to play with and see how this long-hyped, latest and greatest version of Windows 8 is going to improve our lives. However, it becomes even more of an enticement when Microsoft offers it for “free”; after all, who is going to turn down something supposedly this unique if there is absolutely no financial risk involved?
Be aware, though, that you should be prepared for some quirks, because just like the old adage says: If something is free, it may be too good to be true. In this case, while I do not believe that there are any serious deficiencies that apply to the Windows 8 RTM public trial, I do think that one needs to know the following about the operating system software:
- Windows 8 RTM is available to the public, for free, at this download site. There are two options for the download. One is for a 32-bit system and the other is for a 64-bit system. If you choose the 64-bit version, confirm that your system will support a 64-bit CPU prior to installation. All systems can run the 32-bit version.
- You will only be able to use the trial version for 90 days. After the 90-day trial period is over, Microsoft is hoping you will love Windows 8 so much that you will download the Pro version. The Pro version is priced for as little as $39.99 per machine.
- After you complete your 90-day trial period, you cannot upgrade to the full retail version. Instead, at this point, you will need to complete a clean install, which will result in all of your settings and data being erased.
- If you use the 90-day trial version to upgrade over a previous version of Windows, there is no restore feature to get back your old Windows operating system and settings. This means that, if you discover that you prefer your old Windows version, you will be required to reinstall your old Windows software and start from scratch.
- Frustration will occur on day 90 of your free trial of Windows 8 because your screen will turn black and the system will completely shut down every hour until you decide to purchase the full version or restore your old operating system.
What Are the Hardware Requirements for Using Windows 8?
According to Microsoft, minimum hardware requirements to operate Windows 8 on your computer system include:
- The processor will need to be a minimum of 1 GHz.
- 1 GB of RAM for the 32-bit systems with 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit systems.
- A minimum of 20 GB of free hard disk space.
- A graphics card that supports DirectX 9 with WDDM driver.
After using Microsoft’s previous operating systems, including Vista and Windows 7, we know that these minimum hardware requirements are extremely low. By this I mean that, if your system has these minimum requirements, your overall experience using Windows 8 may be disappointing. In fact, it is possible that your system may be unable to even function correctly. However, this is just my opinion and I realize that there are those out there who would take exception to my conclusions. My experience, though, tells me that if you want your computer system to run without a hitch using Windows 8, I would recommend that you install it only on systems with at least a 2 GGz CPU and with 3 GB of available memory. Otherwise, you may not be able to take full advantage of what the operating system has to offer.
What has your past experience been using the above minimum system requirements with Vista and/or Windows 7? Share your thoughts with us.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by mynetx