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All Three Windows 8 Preview Builds Expiring Soon

Consumers and developers still running preview versions of Windows 8 will need to upgrade soon if they wish to keep using the blocky modern platform, as they're scheduled to expire next month. Those who insist in using the preview builds after the expiration date will see their computer rebooted every two hours, similar to the way Microsoft handles unactivated copies of other Windows releases.

The Windows 8 Developer Preview (build 8102) will officially expire on January 15, 2013. It was first introduced on September 13, 2011 during Microsoft's BUILD conference, and included SDKs and developer tools for creating apps specifically for the new Modern UI interface. Microsoft said it saw around 535,000 downloads of the preview build within the first 12 hours of availability.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview (build 8250), set to expire January 15 2013 at 6:59 PM, was released on February 29, and revealed to the public that yes, Microsoft indeed ripped out the Start menu. Former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky even said that more than 100,00 changes had been made to the OS since it was introduced to developers months prior. Microsoft claimed that this build was downloaded over a million times in just 24 hours.

Following the Consumer Preview was the Windows 8 Release Preview (build 8400) on May 31, 2012. Also set to expire on January 15, 2013, this version was a bit more refined and included demo apps like Sports, Travel and News. It offered improved multi-monitor support, new Family Safety features, and a "power-optimized" Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 10.

Windows 8 finally arrived in the hands of consumers on October 26, 2012. Consumers who purchase a new Windows 7 desktop of laptop between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 will be able to upgrade for a mere $14.95. Customers who purchased a Windows-based machine prior to June 2 can still upgrade on the cheap until the January 31 deadline, paying $39.99 for Windows 8 Pro.

That said, there's really no reason why anyone should be still using the Consumer and Release Previews at this point given the cheap upgrade prices. Maybe that two-hour rebooting will eventually push stubborn beta users into forking out cash before time runs out on the discount.

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  • memadmax
    Win8 Expired on my computer the day after I installed it >_>
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Two hour rebooting is not a problem. I hardly use it for 20 mins, just toremind myself how utterly Metro sucks on desktop
    Reply
  • -Jackson
    "Maybe that two-hour rebooting will eventually push stubborn beta users into forking out cash before time runs out on the discount."
    Nah, I'll just go back to using Win7 :P
    Even after giving it a chance, the OS is still a little sour for me. Not to mention USB 3.0 won't work on it since there aren't any Win8 USB 3.0 drivers for my motherboard!
    Along with the fact that searching for stuff is simply just easier on Windows 7 x)
    Reply
  • phatboe
    I have the Win 8 x64 CP version installed but I have not booted it in months, I wonder how it stands now, having not used it in a while. I have zero interest in it at all over my Win 7 pro x64 + Linux OSes. The new UI is absolutely useless for me on my desktop with a mouse+keyboards+no-touchscreen display.
    Reply
  • aoneone
    Bahaha Steve Ballmer is going to be fired. ^_^ I'm so glad I didn't bother wasting my time with Windows 8. Sigh... I knew it would crash and burn and it probably is worse than Vista. Anyways~ Happy holidays! hehe
    Reply
  • 11796pcs
    Those who insist in using the preview builds after the expiration date will see their computer rebooted every two hours, similar to the way Microsoft handles unactivated copies of other Windows releases.

    Unactivated Windows 7 computers don't reboot every two hours, they just shower you with messages to activate.
    Reply
  • LukeCWM
    Take advantage of the speed and features, and if the UI bothers you, install Stardock's Start8.

    I installed it a week and a half ago. Everything works, the upgrades to the File Explorer and Task Manager are great, and the OS is crazy fast. I'm giving myself another week to get used to the Modern UI, and if it doesn't happen, I'll happily shell out the $5 to Stardock.

    Three years ago, I passed up a $20 upgrade from Vista to 7. I didn't need it since all of my drivers and programs worked without problem, and I just didn't see the need. But then I grew to depend on the subtle UI upgrades in 7 while at work, and it became frustrating to continue using Vista at home. You may not feel like you want Windows 8 now, especially if everything is working in 7, but do you really think two or three years from now you'll still be happy with 7 over 8?

    Just an opinion from someone who was skeptical, who made sure he could switch back to Windows 7 if he changed his mind, but then grew to appreciate the other aspects of Windows 8. Two thirds of the bad things I hear about Windows 8 just aren't true, and the other third are a matter of preference, which you can change for $5. I just don't understand the blind negativity towards this. For $40, I think it is smart. And for $15, I think it is a no-brainer.
    Reply
  • belardo
    I want to hear the latest reports from Steven Sinofsky about how well Win8 is doing in the real world.

    Steven Sinofsky? Hello?

    Maybe Ballmer can find him.
    Reply
  • jakes69
    same here, I was skeptic about installing Window 8 at first...but after a week or so usage I'm loving it. There are always something I dislike about every OS...Window 8 is no different.
    Reply
  • halcyon
    Win 8 is fine (I was way skeptical too). I got Start8 and it works better than perfect...but its not really necessary for me any longer. ...but for $5? There's no longer any excuse...at least not until the end of January.
    Reply