How to test-drive Windows 8 for free in VirtualBox

Want to dip your toes in Microsoft's modern UI before plunging head-first into Windows 8?

By Alex Castle, PC World |  Windows, virtualbox, windows 8

From here, you'll work through the simple installer, agreeing to the terms of service, selecting an install location, and choosing whether to do an upgrade or a clean install. Choose the clean install option.

Windows will unpack and install the necessary files, and when its done your virtual PC will restart. At that point, Windows 8 proper will start up, and you'll have to complete a brief configuration process. Select a name and color scheme for your computer, and enter your Microsoft account information. Now youre ready to use Windows 8 for the low, low price of absolutely free.

Apart from the two important limitations mentioned at the beginning of this article, the evaluation version of Windows 8 has all the same features as the full version, so you can install software and do anything else that you'd do in the final version of the OS. (Why not give Xbox Music a spin?) We found that the Windows Store frequently timed out in the virtual machine, but that didn't prevent us from downloading and running apps; clicking 'Try Again' after a time out always loaded the desired screen in short order.

If you try Windows 8 and decide that you don't like it, note that VirtualBox can run a ton of major Linux releases using the same basic setup procedure. Feel free to give the dork side a whirl at your leisure.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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