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What happens when the activation period runs out?
Is Windows 8 Pro usable without activation?
How long is the Windows 8 activation period if I do not connect to the internet?

For Windows 8, does anyone know how long the trial period is and what is likely to happen when it ends?

I have a friend running Windows 7 and after 30 days it starts to strip away functionality - no task manager, fixed solid colour background, etc.

I've heard some people say that it will reboot after every hour.

At the moment I'm just getting the nagging (Activate Windows) will similar behaviour occur in Windows 8?

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marked as duplicate by slhck Nov 7 '12 at 21:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Previous versions of Windows, starting with Vista and Windows Server 2008, did indeed include User Experience changes once the trial period had passed:

If Windows has not been properly activated and is not within its activation grace period, the computer is in the notifications state with the following UX:

  • Upon logon, Windows displays a dialog box reminding the user that Windows must be activated. It includes options for activating now or later. If the user does not interact with this dialog box within two minutes, the dialog box closes, and the logon process continues normally.
  • In the notifications state, Windows changes the desktop wallpaper to a solid black background, displays taskbar balloon notifications indicating the activation status, and displays dialog boxes showing what action the user needs to take.
  • In the notifications state, the computer has the full functionality of the installed version of Windows, except that the following features are disabled:
    • A computer configured as a KMS host will respond to KMS client requests with an error stating that KMS has not been activated.
    • Windows Update only allows security and critical updates—not optional updates
    • Optional downloads requiring online Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation—also called genuine-gated downloads—are not available.

It goes on to point out:

the desktop still changes the background to a solid, plain black. The user can reset the desktop background to wallpaper or other background color, but every 60 minutes, Windows resets it to black and displays the notification balloon

So the behaviour your friend is seeing is not because of a virus or malware as others have stated, but a consequence of running the software outside of it's grace period.

I believe Windows 8 in the "Notification State" will show an activation nag watermark and limit access to much of the "personalisation" features.

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The trial period for windows 8 pro is 90 days. So the weird functionality you are getting might be due to a virus and not due to trial period expiry.

Even after trial period expires, Windows will not strip away functionality like this

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1  
The "weird functionality" is indeed a feature of a non-activated instance of Windows - it does indeed strip away functionality: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793436.aspx This was introduced in Vista/Windows Server 2008 and was extended in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2. The server version would also shut down after an hour. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 7 '12 at 14:08
    
Pro is not the same as Pro VL (Core/Pro and Pro VL are two separate downloads on MSDN). Can you link to any reputable source or preferably official documentation that states Win8 Pro (not Pro VL) has a 90 day trial period? –  Karan Nov 7 '12 at 21:29
    
@Karan - Not sure, but I can find plenty telling me that Windows 8 requires a key to even install, doesn't have a "grace period", nor a "trial mode" therefore the only way you can get into this state is through one of the VL style SKUs. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 7 '12 at 21:46
    
@Zhaph-BenDuguid: Yes, which is why I'm surprised that 3 people (including you) have stated confidently in their answers that the trial period is 90 days, without mentioning VL. BTW, see the linked possible dupe threads above where it's mentioned that you can also enter the state if the PC is not connected to the net. Key entry is necessary during install, but how would it activate if it cannot contact the activation servers? As per MS there is no grace period any longer like Win7 had, but there's no official documentation found so far listing what will happen with a non-networked PC. –  Karan Nov 7 '12 at 21:51
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@Zhaph-BenDuguid: Yep, that bit is well-known (or at least, I thought it was :) –  Karan Nov 7 '12 at 21:59

I think the problem is not with the trail period as the Windows 8 is 90 days. I think this problem might be due to a malware

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The "weird functionality" is indeed a feature of a non-activated instance of Windows 7 - it does indeed strip away functionality: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff793436.aspx This was introduced in Vista/Windows Server 2008 and was extended in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2. The server version would also shut down after an hour. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Nov 7 '12 at 14:19

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