This was not the case with the evaluation version of Windows Server 2012 (not R2). You cannot use any key other than evaluation keys in it. However, there was a bug with it, which allowed you to extend your existing evaluation key (not for the usual 30 days, but for a full 180 days. Well that wasn’t the good version of Windows Server 2012, I liked the R2 version though excellent.
This trick won’t be possible with these new VMs, and that means turning these virtual machines into a test bank to try something quickly, but not much more than that. By the time you’ve settled everything well with the things that are important to your workflow as a developer, the 180 day period has passed faster than you might expect. Just downloading and reconfiguring a new virtual machine still takes longer than you think, even if you’re doing it a second time.
And that’s only as long as Microsoft allows you to download a second virtual machine. 180 days seems like a long time (eh). The same is true for home, garden and kitchen use. But in my experience, developers often need more time to set up their programming environment in a way that they can work with it in a fun and efficient way.
Anyway, it’s nice that Microsoft provides everything, but it’s not as good a deal as you might expect at first glance.
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