Like many of the geeks out there I downloaded the Windows 8 Developer Preview last week so that I could play around with it. There is a watermark on the desktop just like there always is for preview releases of Windows, but Microsoft doesn’t put the date on the watermark indicating when the build expires.
When Microsoft released this Developer Preview of Windows 8 they said that there is no activation or key needed to get it working, and that is true. As you can see in the screenshot above my copy shows that it was activated, but looking a little further into the OS reveals that it will still expire on March 11th, 2012.
What happens when March 12th sneaks up on you? Hopefully at that point Microsoft will be at least on the Beta and will have an extended expiration date, but if you continue running the Developer Preview build it will deactivate itself. Any attempt to try and activate the system will result in a “Windows is not activated” message, and your computer will begin restarting every two hours:
I’m sure some of the hackers out there will come out with ways to remove this timebomb, but I’m skeptical that anyone would want to continue using such an early build past March 2012 anyway.
Windows 8 build I’m referencing in this article: 8102.winmain_win8m3.110830-1739