"Hello, Guinness Book Of Records? Was Star Wars: The Old Republic the fastest MMO to go from subs-based to free-to-play? Why yes, I could go away and do the most token amount of research instead, but I wanted to hear a human voice for a change. Also, can I have a pint of Guinness please? Yes, Extra Cold, thanks."
And now you can try out SWTOR's freeiness to playiness for yourself, albeit in a contained, reduced version, as the first vestiges of it are now live on that MMO folly's test server.
It's only a test and none of the Cartel Coins - the new F2P in-game currency - earned/obtained on this practice run will carry over to the full game, nor will there be any effect on your 'live characters', but if you want to have an early Jedi Peek at how the new system works, go for it.
Testers will be "periodically granted a small amount of Cartel Coins for the purpose of testing the Cartel Market". so there'll be no buying currency as yet, but you can spend CCs on "several unlocks, boosts, and Legacy perks." Just like in Star Wars! I think we all remember that bit where Luke bought a new hand for $7.99.
More details here. And yes, you do need a paid-for copy of the game to try this.