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Pros and Cons of Using Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Evaluation Copies

Posted on 2012-09-18
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Please can I have the Pros and Cons of Using Windows Server 2003 and 2008 Evaluation Copies in an enterprise environment?
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Question by:udememi
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by:Tribus
ID: 38408562
The main reason would be that an evaluation version usually has time limits and it will then force you to purchase and then re-install the full version or to use the software with reduced functionality.

Take a look at this link for more info: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2021579

Specifically the part with this:

"Question: Can you convert the evaluation version to a full version?

Answer: Although this conversion is not blocked, we do not support an upgrade from an evaluation version to a full version or changing the product key to a full version key. To upgrade to a full version, you must install non-evaluation media. If you change the product key to Full Version, the visual evaluation references in Winver and as displayed in Slmgr /DLV output are removed, but the WLMS service remains on the system and the media retains its evaluation status."
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Tony J earned 1500 total points
ID: 38408572
Well first off - use how?

Both versions are basically full versions.

Windows 2008 R2 evaluation versions will run for 180 days after activating the in built license and can be updated to full version but this isn't supported.

See here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2021579

Windows 2003 can be upgraded by the use of the correct license key too (and I didn't see any reference to lack of support): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/818025

Both evaluation versions are basically time-bombed full copies. After 180 days they stop working.
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by:udememi
ID: 38408585
please what features are turned off in evaluation copies?
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by:Tribus
ID: 38408591
All of them.

From the same link as above: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2021579

"Question: What happens when the 180-day evaluation period expires?
Answer: When the evaluation period expires, you experience the following:

Windows changes the desktop wallpaper to a solid black background.

A watermark appears in the lower-right corner of the desktop together with the following warnings:

Windows license is expired
This copy of Windows is not genuine

When you log on to Windows, you are prompted with the following options:

Activate now
Ask me later

The system shuts down every hour.
The following event ID is logged in the Application log:

Log Name:   Application
Source:       WLMS
Event ID:     100
Description: The license period for this installation of Windows has expired. The operating system will shut down every hour."
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Expert Comment

by:Tony J
ID: 38408595
So to clarify - during the 180 day grace period, they are fully functioning operating systems.

After 180 days they cease to function unless upgraded.
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Expert Comment

by:Tribus
ID: 38408604
And to clarify even more...lol.

Do not use any evaluation versions in any live full production environments.  Use them exactly as they are intended to be used.  As an evaluation version to determine if the solution should be purchased for your enterprise in a test environment.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38408621
Tribus - "The main reason would be that an evaluation version usually has time limits and it will then force you to purchase and then re-install the full version or to use the software with reduced functionality."

I thoroughly disagree - the MAIN reason is that it's a license violation.  Evaluation software is meant for EVALUATION.  Not sure why this seems to be a difficult concept to understand...
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Expert Comment

by:Tribus
ID: 38408624
You are right Leew.  I was trying to say that in a way I guess.

:)
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Expert Comment

by:Tribus
ID: 38509071
Oh well I guess my answer wasn't good enough that has the same link in it...
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