It would seem that there should be web resources to quickly find an answer to this question but I couldn't find any, so I'm trying my luck here.
I used the Win10 Media Creation Tool to download Win10 Pro ISO's and set up VM's I use for testing before deploying to bare metal. Once I deploy, I do so with a digital license or product key but it obviously doesn't make any sense activating while in the (temporary) VM.
Now I noticed that my VM still works, and it's been many weeks since I first used it. It's not activated, of course, but I can still log in and install software and so on.
Up until now, I always created a new VM installation from scratch when I needed to do testing. It would naturally save me some time if I could just install it once and then clone when I need a new environment (that will eventually be licensed). I thought that's not possible due to some time restraints so I didn't even try it.
Hence my questions:
- Is there an official "evaluation period" for Windows 10, and how long is it?
- How long can one use (from a technical perspective only) a not activated copy of Windows 10?
- Which limitations are there for a not activated copy and when do they step into effect?
I was, for example, not able to confirm that personalization is not possible as seems to have been the case with a not-activated Windows 8.(See comment on answer below.)