Microsoft releases 90 day trial versions of Windows 8.1 Enterprise

One month ago today, Microsoft released the RTM versions of Windows 8.1 Enterprise for MSDN and TechNet subscribers to download and use. Today, in conjunction with the Windows 8.1 GA launch, Microsoft has also released ISO builds for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows 8.1 Enterprise SKU.

The download page for the ISO builds state that businesses can install and use these versions of Windows 8.1 Enterprise for free for 90 days. While it's been made mostly for use by IT managers, there's no stopping anyone else from downloading and using these trial versions. However, Microsoft does offer a bit of a warning, saying:

This is evaluation software designed for IT professionals interested in trying Windows 8.1 Enterprise on behalf of their organization. We do not recommend that you install this evaluation if you are not an IT professional or not professionally managing corporate networks.

Windows 8.1 Enterprise has a number of additional features compared to the Core and Pro versions, such as AppLocker, Start screen control, BranchCache and more that make the Enterprise SKU a more secure version of the OS compared to the more consumer oriented versions.

Source: Microsoft via WinBeta | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft offically launches new Windows Store and Xbox Gift Cards

Next Story

BitTorrent site isoHunt shutting down thanks to settlement with movie studios

13 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Question: if I was to use this to make a windows to go flash drive would the flash drive work past the 90 days? I do have a valid 8.1 pro key and am using it

Just make sure you don't risk your "production" environment while playing with Windows-8, because if you decide to ditch Windows-8 you haven't hurt yourself.

I seriously doubt most "Enterprise" companies are going to do another OS update anytime soon. Many are still rolling out their XP -> 7 deployments (having skipped Vista) with XP Extended Support ending on April 8th 2014. Windows 7 Extended Support doesn't end until January 14 2020 so my guess is most major enterprise customers won't be doing OS client migrations again until 2019.

The fact that MS seems to be releasing new OS versions every year or two is not going to appeal to these large entities. 8.1 followed 8 too quickly for Enterprise deployment teams and now there are rumors the next major version update will be in Spring 2015. If that's Windows 9 and MS keeps that pace MS will probably be on Windows 10 or 11 around 2019 when large Enterprise customers are ready to go through another round of client deployments.

I'll disagree. An enterprise doesn't *have* to deploy every Windows OS ever released in order. Many of them will skip an OS and may have had no plans to go to 8.x at all.

scorp508 said,
I'll disagree. An enterprise doesn't *have* to deploy every Windows OS ever released in order. Many of them will skip an OS and may have had no plans to go to 8.x at all.

I'm not sure what you're supposed to be disagreeing with. What you just said doesn't contradict anything I said. Enterprise customers don't have to deploy every Windows OS and in fact it is difficult/time consuming/expensive for them to roll out new Client OS versions across their entire company so they tend to space them out. This is largely defined by the support length of their OS and so they do indeed skip versions (such as Vista recently). Most having gone to Windows 7 they will not be looking to do another major client OS roll-out until it nears end of support (which isn't until 2020) so they do indeed have no plans to go to 8.x at all. They'll likely jump to whatever version is new (maybe at sp1 maturity or greater) in around 2019 (so they have a year before Windows 7 support expires)... maybe a bit earlier but not 2014 and thus not Windows 8.1.

Asmodai said,
I seriously doubt most "Enterprise" companies are going to do another OS update anytime soon. Many are still rolling out their XP -> 7 deployments (having skipped Vista) with XP Extended Support ending on April 8th 2014. Windows 7 Extended Support doesn't end until January 14 2020 so my guess is most major enterprise customers won't be doing OS client migrations again until 2019.

The fact that MS seems to be releasing new OS versions every year or two is not going to appeal to these large entities. 8.1 followed 8 too quickly for Enterprise deployment teams and now there are rumors the next major version update will be in Spring 2015. If that's Windows 9 and MS keeps that pace MS will probably be on Windows 10 or 11 around 2019 when large Enterprise customers are ready to go through another round of client deployments.

I'm sure they'll partly be upgrading. I doubt anyone here will be running Windows 7 tablets. By 2015 I'd wager Windows 8 will be deployed alongside Windows 7.

Dot Matrix said,

I'm sure they'll partly be upgrading. I doubt anyone here will be running Windows 7 tablets. By 2015 I'd wager Windows 8 will be deployed alongside Windows 7.


I don't see a big move in corporate America at least to tablets over desktops. You're probably right though that where tablets are deployed they will likely be using newer OS's just like the Enterprise tends to stay pretty current on SERVER OS versions. It's desktop clients that lag forever. I'm not sure what you mean by "anyone here" though if you mean Neowin readers I'm sure they won't because I doubt the bulk of Neowin readers are Enterprise customers. Neowin is probably mostly early adopters so they'll tend to be running the latest and greatest from MS.

Asmodai said,

I'm not sure what you're supposed to be disagreeing with.

Your sentiment that OS releases are becoming too fast.

scorp508 said,

Your sentiment that OS releases are becoming too fast.


Not for regular uses. I personally love that their updating more often. That said they are moving too fast for Enterprise customers to upgrade to every version, they are going to skip (possibly several versions) and most already went to 7 so they aren't likely to upgrade again until 2019ish.

Now if only they would announce some special pricing. i'd love to see the cheap upgrades or a family pack again.. we got a family pack around win7 sp1 time, here's hoping to one for 8.1

I do agree.

It is surprising Microsoft does not make this version über attractive with a low price like they did last year.
Considering the current market state, including the competition raging around, it is somewhat unexplainable.

I guess the old marketing dinosaurs in the shop think they're right about this.

Just imagine a consumer version at 35$.

TheCyberKnight said,
I do agree.

It is surprising Microsoft does not make this version über attractive with a low price like they did last year.
Considering the current market state, including the competition raging around, it is somewhat unexplainable.

I guess the old marketing dinosaurs in the shop think they're right about this.

Just imagine a consumer version at 35$.

It won't happen. Microsoft is going back to their cash cow for $199 and up.