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Microsoft offers a free Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine

Microsoft has released a Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine image, which can be downloaded and used by developers or any administrator / user who wants to use it.

A few days ago, and without much hype, Microsoft updated its Windows Dev Center to include links to virtual machines of the enterprise version of your latest operating system and for use with different hypervisors. The images are close to 20 Gbytes in size and include:

  • Window 11 Enterprise (evaluation version).

  • Windows 10 SDK, version 2004.

  • Visual Studio 2019.

  • Visual Studio Code.

  • Linux subsystem for Windows enabled with Ubuntu installed.

  • Developer mode enabled

  • Windows Terminal installed

Microsoft suggests that these VMs might be ideal if you want to «Get started building Windows applications quickly by using a virtual machine with the latest versions of Windows, development tools, SDKs, and ready-to-use samples«.

Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine installation should be trivial as Microsoft has posted packaged versions for four of the major hypervisors: VMware, Oracle VirtualBox, Parallels and also Hyper-V, the tool from the house of Redmond that is included in the professional and enterprise versions of Windows. VMs will expire on January 9, 2022.

Microsoft has accelerated the deployment of Windows 11 for consumption and business in recent weeks, but its degree of adoption here has been minimal so far, just 0.21% since its debut on October 5. This low adoption rate is not entirely unexpected. Business users are not rushing to adopt new versions of Windows due to the stability problems that the latest version does not escape by logging errors in Intel’s audio drivers, the clipping tool and a not minor controversy related to the operation of the Edge browser.

Virtual machines are a great technological resource to avoid this problem. A fast, comfortable and safe method to run operating systems, applications or games without touching the main system that acts as host, be it for testing, running incompatible software, emulators, alternative operating systems or as in this case for software development.

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