Microsoft publishes free virtual machines (for two months) of Windows 11 22H2

Trying out a new operating system is usually a mixture of curiosity and fear. Whether it’s something totally new, or an update like Windows 11 22H2, the desire to discover what’s new is always an incentive, but the fear that problems may arise is always there because, as a general rule, the major update that does not arrive is rare. with some surprise in this regard. And yes, it is true that those responsible, Microsoft in the case of Windows, usually respond quickly to these problems, but even so, their consequences can be quite negative.

As a general rule, you know, we we recommend not being the first to install an update, except in the event that they are security, because in that case the risks of installing them are always lower than those of being exposed to the vulnerabilities they correct. Unless, of course, we have an environment specifically dedicated to testing updates, which in no case should be the one we use for our day-to-day activities, to avoid compromising them.

In this sense, the most practical option is to use virtual machines, because in this way we can try to carry out in-depth tests and verify, in this way, both its reliability and that it adapts to what we need. Thus, since desktop applications that allow managing and using virtual machines began to become popular, this possibility has been adopted by a large number of people, from amateurs to IT managers in corporate environments and professionals in the sector, who rely on the same for both testing and auditing.

At Microsoft they are aware of this model and not only validate it, they also explicitly support it. And the latest proof of this is found in the recent Official Release of Windows 11 22H2 Virtual Machines for Four Major Virtualization Platforms: Hyper-V, Parallels, VirtualBox and VMWare. These instances have been specially designed for developers, so their content is as follows:

  • Windows 11 Enterprise (evaluation version).
  • Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition with UWP, .NET Desktop, Azure, and Windows App SDK for C# workloads.
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 with Ubuntu preinstalled.
  • WindowsTerminal.
  • Developer mode activated.

These virtual machines are free, although they have a temporary limitation, since the evaluation version of Windows 11 included “expires” on January 10, 2023. Be careful, this does not mean that said system is inoperative, but from that date it will be necessary to use a Windows 11 22H2 Enterprise license to activate it and, in this way, be able to continue working with said virtual machine.

Two months, however, is a more than reasonable time to try Windows 11 22H2 and, in this way, determine if it suits your needs (although, of course, you must bear in mind that you are using the Enterprise version, so you will find some differences if you later jump to Home or Pro). Still, it’s an excellent opportunity to do some research and try it out for yourself. And if you don’t know how to do it, start by downloading the virtual machine from the Microsoft website and then follow the steps that we indicate in this complete tutorial.

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