Windows 11 Taskbar Icons SurfaceproSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Developers can now download a Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine for free.
  • Microsoft's package includes options for VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels.
  • The virtual machines are set to expire on January 9, 2022.

A Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine (VM) is now available to download. The VM allows developers to "start building Windows applications quickly by using a virtual machine with the latest versions of Windows, the developer tools, SDKs, and samples ready to go," according to Microsoft. There are four virtualization software options available: VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels.

The Windows 11 Enterprise VM is a 20GB download, and it will expire on January 9, 2022.

The evaluation virtual machine includes the following:

  • Window 11 Enterprise (evaluation)
  • Windows 10 SDK, version 2004 (10.0.19041.0)
  • Visual Studio 2019 (latest as of 10/09/21) with the UWP, .NET desktop, and Azure workflows enabled and also includes the Windows Template Studio extension
  • Visual Studio Code (latest as of 10/09/21)
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux enabled with Ubuntu installed
  • Developer mode enabled
  • Windows Terminal installed

As noted by ZDNet, Microsoft's page is incorrectly titled "get a Windows 10 development environment." The page actually allows you to download a Windows 11 Enterprise virtual machine. Microsoft may update this page in the future to better reflect its contents.

Virtual machines allow developers to use Windows without having to run the OS on a system. When running a Windows 11 Enterprise VM, developers will be able to work from devices running other operating systems, such as Linux or macOS. Support for VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels gives users several options for developing in a virtual machine.

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