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I want to build a Win8 VM on my MBA, but can't find anywhere to download this OS...

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Sure, MSDN. But MSDN subscriptions aren't free. – Mark Allen Mar 9 '13 at 4:43

There seems to be an article here that tells you how to get the ISO. The thing about this article is that you have to have a product key. Thus you aren't able to get out of buying it.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – slhck Mar 9 '13 at 7:51

Microsoft usually only sells "OEM System Builder" licences to vendors, in bulk; You basically can't buy just one, and "general public" isn't meant to buy them at all.

This licence also does not allow for installing on a VM.

You can buy a non-OEM licence and download the image directly from MS site.

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You haven't kept up with the times. There is no "full retail" version anymore with Win8. If you don't want to Upgrade from a previous version, the only way to install Win8 on a new PC is via the System Builder version, which is available to end users and single copies are available. Also, if you're not an OEM then Win8 System Builder's Personal Use Licence applies to you, which does allow installation in a VM (however each copy, physical or virtual, needs a separate key obviously). – Karan Mar 10 '13 at 2:32

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