After making the Windows 8 RTM Available for MSDN and TechNet Subscribers yesterday Microsoft has added an opportunity for others who might not be subscribed to those networks to try out the final version of their new operating system.

You can download the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation software from the MSDN Evaluation Center but there are some caveats you need to be aware of before using it.

  • Back up your data.
  • It is intended for developers and IT professionals who are either developing apps or trying out Windows 8 for their organizations.
  • Trial period for the software is 90 days and you must register and activate the OS within 10 days of installation.
  • Available in ISO format for the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, English (UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish.
  • 32-bit and 64-bit versions available.
  • No technical support from Microsoft.
  • You can not directly upgrade to the retail version of Windows 8 from the trial. It must be uninstalled and a non-eval version of Windows must be installed on your system.
  • Think about running this as a virtual machine or a separate hard drive partition to make it easier when it expires to return to your original Windows installation.
  • Back up your data.

The system requirements for this eval version are:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 20 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Even though everything on this page says developers and IT pros if you are an enthusiast and understand installing operating systems then you could also use this eval to check out the final version of the OS.  Just follow the advice above and on the MSDN Evaluation Center before you dive into it.