Procrastination doesn't ever pay off, and if you're sitting pretty with a free preview of Microsoft's Windows 8
operating system (OS), be advised that the free ride is almost over. The Developer Preview (from September 2011), the Consumer Preview (from February 2012), and the Release Preview all expire next month on January 15, 2013.
"Starting from the expiration date, you may not be able to access any unsaved data used with the software. Any applications you receive through the Windows Store will also cease to be available to you in future versions, unless they are made available for re-download and you re-acquire them. You may not receive any other notice," reads Microsoft's EULA for the Release Preview.
So, what can you do if you want to keep rolling with Windows 8? Well, to keep it legal, you have to bite the bullet and purchase a license. If you act sooner than later, you can snag Windows 8 for a discounted price. For a limited time, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $40
, a promotion that runs until January 31, 2013. And if you purchased (or plan to buy) a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, you're eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 for $15