Testing things on Windows 8 for free

26 February 2013, 09:16

I’ve occasional need to test websites and programs on Microsoft Windows and I’m loathe to pay for a license for what will be extremely occasional use. I use VMWare Fusion to run Windows virtually, although Oracle’s VirtualBox is just as good in many regards.

Up until now I’ve been getting by using an old Vista license I had but recently learned that Microsoft offer a free trial of Windows 8 for 90 days. After that point Windows will work only for one hour at a time before forcibly rebooting. This is fine for what I need, and indeed for anybody testing things created on a Mac.

The Windows 8 64-bit trial installs and runs fine in VMWare Fusion. I use the older 4.x release so selected Windows 7 as the guest operating system. Of course, you could also install it via BootCamp if you’ve got sufficient hard disk space. Again, you’ll be booting into it infrequently so you probably won’t even notice the one-hour limitation once the trial is over with.

Office 2010 is also available as a trial.

Know better?