About two months ago, I wrote a blog post on determining your Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 pre-release version. With that information you could then determine the (possible) in-place upgrade paths.
In this blog post I’ll show you the expiration dates of the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 pre-release versions, so you’ll know when your pre-release version is roughly going to expire:
Build 8102 (Developer Preview)
When your pre-release Windows 8 or Windows Server "8" installation reports build 8200, you’re running the Developer Preview. This pre-release version was made available on September 14, 2011 after it was announced at //Build/.
Windows 8 Developer Preview has expired on March 11, 2012. If you installed the hotfix in Microsoft KnowledgeBase article 2671501 before this date, the Developer Preview will continue to work until January 15, 2013.
Windows Server "8" Developer Preview expired on April 8, 2012, unless you installed the hotfix in Microsoft KnowledgeBase article 2671501 before this date. In that case, Windows Server "8" Developer Preview will continue to work until January 15, 2013.
Build 8250 (Consumer Preview / Beta)
On February 29, Microsoft released both the Consumer Preview for Windows 8 and the Beta for Windows Server "8". Only, two weeks later, during MMS 2012, Microsoft renamed Windows Server "8" to Windows Server 2012.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview expires on January 15, 2013. This expiration data is identical to the expiration date of the Windows 8 Developer Preview with the hotfix in Microsoft KnowledgeBase article 2671501 installed.
Windows Server "8" Beta expires on January 15, 2012
Build 8400 (Release Candidate / RC)
Build 9200 is the Release to Manufacturers (RTM) build of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. This build has no expiration, except in the following scenarios:
- You are using an Evaluation version of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012. Evaluation versions can only be used for a limited number of days. Also, you need to reinstall Windows 8 and/or Windows Server 2012 if you want to use it in a production environment. (Supplying the license key is not enough)
- The support on the Release to Manufacturers (RTM) build of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 stops six months after the first service pack. Although this will not hinder you in using the products, you will need be able to get help via Microsoft for your installation, until you upgrade/update to a supported service pack level.
Finding your exact Expiration date
The above dates are rough estimations on the expiration dates of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 pre-release versions. However, you can simple find the exact expiration date and time for your specific installation, by typing the following command:
This command will show the exact expiration date in the About Windows screen as shown below for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (build 8250):
Microsoft has made it very easy for everyone to understand that January 15, 2013 is the expiration date for all pre-release versions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
Determining your Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 version
How To Install Windows Server 8 (build 8102)
Windows Server “8” Beta available (build 8250)
Windows 8 Release Preview (Build 8400) ready
Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (Build 8400) is now available