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Microsoft updates its free Windows 11 virtual machines

Windows 11 logo next to laptop and monitor icons

After releasing new free Windows 11 virtual machines last month, Microsoft is back with another update. Windows 11 Development Environment 2212 is now available for download in four virtualization software flavors. You can grab a free Windows 11 virtual machine for VMWare, second-gen Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels.

Official Windows 11 virtual machines from Microsoft weigh about 20GB and include the following tools:

  • Windows 11 Enterprise SKU (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

The software giant says the virtual machines are made for those wanting to start building Windows applications quickly using the latest versions of Windows, the developer tools, SDKs, and samples ready to go. Also, it is a quick, easy, and free way to check out what Windows 11 and its developer toolbox have to offer.

Microsoft has allowed using its latest VMs for free and without activation until March 5, 2023 (the previous version is valid until January 10, 2023). After that, Windows 11 will ask you to enter a genuine license key to continue using the virtual machine. Pro tip: you can still use Windows 7 keys to activate Windows 11, just ensure the editions match.

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