By Jonathan Charles | Aug 21, 2012 10:25 AM EDT
If the public envies TechNet users who already have Windows 8, a solution is at hand: the Windows 8 Enterprise Edition. It can be downloaded for 90 days, but it is non-upgradeable, and Microsoft is not offering tech support.
Called the Windows 8 Enterprise Edition 90-day evaluation program, the program lets users download the version of Windows 8 through a 32- or 64-bit ISO image. Supported languages are English, Chinese, German, Japanese, and Korean, to name a few. The MSDN Evaluation Center describes the version in full.
Microsoft previously announced that partners and developers would get early versions of Windows 8 through August and into September. The company states that this version of Windows 8 is "intended for developers building Windows 8 apps and IT professionals interested in trying Windows 8 Enterprise on behalf of their organisation".
The 90-day version of Windows 8 is not upgradable to the official operating system's release version, and therefore it is advisable to install on a separate hard drive or partition. Microsoft recommends running the Enterprise Edition in a virtual machine. Backing up files and settings is encouraged, doubly so because of the lack of technical support.
Even though the download only works for 90 days, the build of Windows 8 is basically what users can expect come October. The Windows Store for apps is live, and games can be played. Including fan favorite Solitaire, with achievements now included.
Windows 8 releases on Oct. 26 for $40 digitally and $70 in a box. While the desktop environment is similar to Windows 7, save the Aero glass aesthetic, the Modern UI start screen resembles the interfaces seen on Windows Phone and Zune. While it is the subject of controversy in select quarters, it seems like a clear indication of where Microsoft want to take Windows 8: towards the tablet market.
Mobilenapps.com recently covered what it is worried about in Windows 8, specifically referring to using Modern UI with a mouse and keyboard.
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