There are many reasons why you may want to install Windows 8 or even its newer version – Windows 8.1. They are fairly similar to each other, but the superior security they have to offer is something that attracts many users.

If you’re not familiar with Windows 8, you may have tried to download it and use the product key from your previous OS or use the one from this OS with 8.1. The bad news is that it won’t work, because each operating system from Windows will have a different product key.

The good news, however, is that you can still get Windows 8 for free without doing anything illegal. There are at least three methods you could use, but each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at what you could do!

windows 8

Get Windows 8.1 Enterprise

If you want to have the latest version of this OS, you can go for 8.1 instead of 8. There is an enterprise edition that you can get for free from the Microsoft website. It is completely legal because it’s part of the evaluation system they use to test a type of software.

This is a good option for IT professionals, and it works well with both tablets and computers. The OS comes in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and a couple of other well-known languages.

Being a test for people to evaluate the OS, it only works for 90 days. Afterwards, the computer will start shutting down after an hour or two of being used. This will force you to purchase the operating system or install another version so you can be able to use the PC properly. It is, however, a good way to test whether or not this is what you’re looking for.

Look for the Developer Edition (RTM)

A similar thing you can do is to search Google for Windows Developer Edition by simply typing Windows 8 RTM in the search bar. You should be able to find the MSDN web page from Microsoft where you will need to log into your account using your MSDN ID and password. If you don’t have a MSDN account, you can always sign up.

Once you sign into the account, you will see that you can download this edition for free, as it’s being used by developers to test whether or not the OS works properly. Those with an MSDN subscription will also have access to other free downloads, all of them being available here. The only downside to this option is that it works like a trial – it will only be available for 90 days. However, this gives you enough time to decide whether you’d like to buy it or not.

After downloading the software, you will need a program in order to burn it to a CD or other device.  ImgBurn is a good one that you could download and install for free. This will let you select the file you’ve downloaded from the Microsoft website and insert a CD or DVD to copy it. You will then need to restart your PC and use the disk to install Windows 8.

Get it from school


If you’re a student or a member of the faculty staff, you may be lucky enough to get Windows 8 for free. This time, we’re not talking about a limited trial version, but the full version that can be used for an unlimited period of time.

It is called Windows 8 PRO for students and can be downloaded here – this is also where you can check if your school is eligible. The 8.1 OS also has a version that is free for college students, and in case your university is not a partner, you can still get a much cheaper version of the operating system.

All you need to do is use an approved .edu email address when you go to the download page. Windows 8.1 can also be purchased in a similar way – for only $69.99, which is half the normal price. You can find out more about this opportunity from the official page.


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Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.