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Microsoft releases new free Windows 11 virtual machines with Moment 5 features

Windows 11 logo

If you need a Windows 11-based virtual machine to experiment with software or just want to poke around Microsoft's latest creation from another platform, you may want to download the company's latest virtual machines, which are available for free use for 90 days. Microsoft has just released Windows Development Environment version 2405, which contains the latest updates and developer tools.

Windows Development Environment version 2405 is based on Windows 11 Enterprise (Evaluation) version 22H2, build 22621.3447. It contains the April 2024 Patch Tuesday updates, which Microsoft released on April 9, 2024 (KB5036893). That means you can try out the new features of the latest "Moment 5" update for Windows 11.

Besides the OS and its updates, Windows Development Environment version 2405 contains the following:

  • Windows 11 Enterprise (Evaluation)

  • Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition with UWP, .NET Desktop, Azure, and Windows App SDK for C# workloads enabled

  • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 enabled with Ubuntu installed

  • Windows Terminal installed

  • Developer mode enabled

If you want to try WDE 2405, you need a minimum of 8GB RAM and 70GB disk space. These virtual machines do not support activation, so you will have to download a newer version once 2405 expires on July 15, 2024. Microsoft updates its virtual machines every month, so expect another one in June.

Windows Development Environment virtual machines are available on the official website. You can get one for VMware, Hyper-V (Gen2), VirtualBox, and Parallels. By the way, VMware Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro are now available for free for personal use, so you can try Microsoft's official Windows 11 virtual machines using that software (check this guide).

Keep in mind that VirtualBox still has some rendering issues, so it is better to use other hypervisors to run a Windows 11-based virtual machine. You can find more information about Windows Development Environment here.

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