With the release of Visual Studio 2012 Microsoft also released evaluation editions to let people experience that edition of Visual Studio. However when installing the Visual Studio 2012 Trial (Evaluation) one is greeted with the following activation dialog: “Please enter a valid Microsoft Visual Studio Product Key”
If one followed the designed workflow through the Microsoft download site one should have gotten a trial key. But what if one used the wrong workflow ? How does one continue ?
This dialog was intended for developers which have a license for Visual Studio 2012 and want to upgrade the trail version to the full version or just register to get the full 90 days of evaluation. Since we don’t want to upgrade and don’t have a key, one could just click “Cancel”. Pressing “Cancel” will close the activation window and the first 30 day of the trial will commence. This 30 days trial can expanded to 90 days using a trial key which can be obtained by clicking “order online” in this dialog. Clicking “extend” allows one to register and one is presented with a trial key which activates the full 90 days trial. source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg442061(v=vs.110).aspx
While its technically correct, it can be a bit confusing if you are used to embedded keys in the Visual Studio products like me.