Microsoft released a free Windows 11 developer-ready virtual machine

People who do not want to move their primary machines to Windows 11 can install the newest operating system from Microsoft on a virtual machine. That is the simplest and safest way to try Windows 11 without dealing with its inconveniences and bugs on a mission-critical computer.

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There are various ways to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine, and Microsoft has just delivered one more. Now users can download ready-for-use and "developer-friendly" virtual machines with Windows 11 Enterprise.

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Windows 11 Enterprise official virtual machines

Microsoft provides a free Windows 11-based VM (Enterprise SKU) mainly for developers who want to build Windows apps using the latest version of Windows, developer tools, and SDKs.

The VM includes the OS itself, Windows 10 SDK (version 2004), Visual Studio 2019, Visual Studio Code, WSL with Ubuntu as the default distro, Windows Terminal, and developer mode on by default. You can download the Windows 11 virtual machine from Microsoft in four formats: VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels.

It is worth mentioning that the Windows 11-based virtual machine from Microsoft is not "completely free." Users are free to use it without limits until September 1, 2022. Microsoft explains that the operating system is available for evaluation only, which means users will have to activate it after the expiration date.

The Windows 11 virtual machine from Microsoft is available for download on the official website. You can also manually create a Windows 11-based virtual machine using Hyper-V or VMWare Player/Workstation.

Windows 11 also works in VirtualBox, but the latter is currently missing a TPM passthrough driver. If you plan to create a Windows 11 virtual machine using VMWare Player, learn how to add TPM in our dedicated article.

On a side note, Microsoft recently confirmed compatibility issues between Windows 11 and VirtualBox. Due to a bug, virtual machines cannot start after updating the host system to Windows 11.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple. You can stay in touch with him on Twitter.

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