Microsoft officially released the latest version of its flagship operating system, Windows 8 on October 26, 2012. Before the release of the retail version, the software giant released three preview builds of Windows 8 for testing. Those preview builds of Microsoft’s newest operating system were still being tested by plenty of users, because it was available free of cost. All of these preview releases are set to expire after a preset date. As of today, January 15, 2013, Windows 8 preview builds, namely Developer, Consumer and Release will expire.
If you are running any one of the preview builds of Windows 8 on your system, you will now need to purchase a valid Windows 8 license and upgrade to the retail build, to continue running the operating system. Windows 8 Developer Preview build was originally set to expire on March 11, 2012, but Microsoft released a patch to extend its testing lifetime until January 15, 2013.
Users running the pre-release version of Windows 8 have already received the following notification both on the desktop and in the Security section of the Action Center.
This pre-release version of Windows will expire soon. Go to Windows Activation to purchase and install a released version of Windows.
If you’ve forgotten when Microsoft did released the three Windows 8 preview builds, you can refresh your memory by looking at the release dates below.
- Windows 8 Developer Preview release date: September 13, 2011
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview release date: February 29, 2012
- Windows 8 Release Preview release date: May 31, 2012
Starting tomorrow, January 16, 2013, if you continue running any of these preview version of Windows 8, you will get an alert message which asks you to buy a license. Later, the operating system will automatically restart every hour until a valid genuine product key is provided.
If you want to see the expiration date yourself, you can press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box, type
winver and press Enter.
If you have been still testing the preview builds, are you going to buy a Windows 8 license or downgrade to your earlier version of Windows? Share with us through the comments below.