Despite posts, warnings, pages, and articles to the contrary all over the web, Windows Vista does have a trial version. It may be hard to get your hands on a legal copy of the Vista DVD without resorting to illegal means, but once you do, you can legally use it for 120 days – fully sanctioned and supported by Microsoft itself.
Just boot from the DVD, install without using a product key, and start using Windows. When your 30 day “grace period” prior to activation runs out, open up a command wind (Start -> Run -> cmd.exe) and type this in:
Then exit the command prompt, and you’re done. It’s that easy. You “rearm” your copy of Windows Vista like this 3 times, so (including the original 30 day trial), that’s a 120 days total – ignoring the additional time you can by running it in “limited functionality” mode: when the ticker stops ticking and Aero dies out on you.
When the ticker stops ticking and you’ve rearmed Vista all you can, you then have two choices. Either format and reinstall, or get on the line with a Microsoft sales agent, and buy yourself a Vista license – if you get OEM you can save hundreds of dollars:
At any rate – at least you now have a choice. It’s ironic given how Microsoft has just decimated everything most people know about upgrade licenses, but yes, now they’re being lenient with you.
[via Coding Horror]