New Update Windows 11 Development Environment

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Developers who want to start writing apps for Windows 11 or just regular users curious to see Microsoft's latest operating system can download official virtual machines provided by Microsoft for free. The company has once again updated its VMs full of developer tools, giving users access to Windows 11 2022 Update, Visual Studio 2022, WSL, and other utilities.

It is worth mentioning that Microsoft's Windows 11-based virtual machines are not entirely free. You can use those VMs at no cost until January 10, 2023. After that date, Microsoft will ask you to activate Windows just like any other virtual machine or local installation (you can activate it with a genuine key and continue using it). Still, two months should be enough for developers to get acquainted with the following:
  • Windows 11 Enterprise SKU (Evaluation)
  • Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition with UWP, .NET Desktop, Azure, and Windows App SDK for C# workloads
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 with Ubuntu pre-installed
  • Windows Terminal
  • Developer Mode
The official Windows 11 virtual machines are available in four variants for different virtualization software: VMWare, Hyper-V, VirtualBox (which recently received full support for Windows 11), and Parallels. You need at least 20GB of free disk space to get started with one of those virtual machines. You can find all the details and links for download on the official website.
 

simmerskool

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just started the 20gb DL for vmware win11 guest and then remembered win11 not supported on my xeon cpu. I know there is (or may be) a hack for this issue, or not??
 
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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.
 

simmerskool

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Is it reasonable to assume that since win11 doesn't like my hardware, win11vm will not run in my VMWare Workstation Pro 16.2...??

Edit: clarification: I know that ms tells me that win11 will NOT run on my host hardware xeon cpu (I've heard there might be hacks). I have not tried to create a win11 guest with my workstation 16.2. I just sent vmware a support question about this, ie, does workstation 17 have virtual feature that does allow win11 to run as a guest OS on a host that is not compatible with win11. I assume not, but waiting for vmware's reply...
 
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Andrezj

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just started the 20gb DL for vmware win11 guest and then remembered win11 not supported on my xeon cpu. I know there is (or may be) a hack for this issue, or not??
it does not matter anyway, those vm are not really free, they are evaluation trials, after x amount of time the user must buy licenses for windows enterprise, visual studio, and so on to access all features - which a home user cannot get unless they already have a volume license - or else they activate using a microsoft work account
just look onlien there is much confusion about evaluation trial versions and activation
 
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simmerskool

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it does not matter anyway, those vm are not really free, they are evaluation trials, after x amount of time the user must buy licenses for windows enterprise, visual studio, and so on to access all features - which a home user cannot get unless they already have a volume license - or else they activate using a microsoft work account
just look onlien there is much confusion about evaluation trial versions and activation
Big thanks, I did see about "evaluation" but probably did not understand what is meant deeply enough. I will proceed with "caution" or not at all...

EDIT the ms download page says WinDev2212Eval.VMWare.zip sha256= 1A84ABA9A255BEAA2052EED512EFFF50752F3FCB94D2C891986F6DD1CC1DD458
I downloaded and 256 is something else!? This is the largest file I have ever hashed, could size be the problem? Or is ms hashing a file inside the zip, but then why does ms refer to the hash as the zip?? I could unzip and hash contents but too many questions, could be gremlins inside a 20gb zip??
 
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Microsoft updates free Windows 11 evaluation virtual machines, now come with version 22H2​

Microsoft has released updated Windows 11 virtual machines (Windows 11 development environment) you can download and use for free for a limited time. The latest release allows using Windows 11 and all of its features, plus various developer tools, without purchasing an activation key. Usually, the virtual machines can operate for about two or three months before starting to nag the user with activation prompts.
Windows 11 virtual machines from Microsoft require 20GB of free space on your disk, and you can use them until April 12, 2023. However, Microsoft will likely release newer versions before the current ones reach their expiration date (the last time Microsoft released new virtual machines was on December 9, 2022).
 

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Microsoft has released a new version (2302) of its Windows 11 development environment. It is a set of Windows 11 virtual machines available for free during an evaluation period. That means you can download a ready-to-use VM from the official Microsoft website and use it without activation until May 23, 2023.

The Windows 11 development environment is available for VMWare (Workstation Pro and Player), Hyper-V Gen2, VirtualBox, and Parallels. It includes the Windows 11 Enterprise SKU, Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, Ubuntu, and Windows Terminal. It also has Developer mode enabled by default.

Version 2302 is based on Windows 11 build 22621.1265 (version 22H2 Moment 1), and you can update it to the Moment 2 update right after setting up the VM (optional KB5022913).
 

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Microsoft has updated its official Windows 11 virtual machines (Windows 11 Development Environment or WDE) and you can download them for a free evaluation. Usually, Microsoft publishes new versions every couple of months, but not this time. Earlier in March, the company pushed the Windows 11 Development Environment to version 2303 based on build 22621.1265, with the expiration date set on May 23, 2023. Now users can download a newer version based on build 22621.1413, also known as the Windows 11 Moment 2 Update.

Like every other WDE release, this one has a new expiration date. You can use the virtual machine until June 14, 2023. After that, Windows will start nagging you to enter a license key.
 

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Microsoft has bumped its virtual machines to version 2304 and set the expiry date to July 18, 2023.

Windows 11 Development Environment includes everything a developer may need to start creating apps for Microsoft's latest operating system. The virtual machines come prebuilt for four virtualization services: VMWare, second-gen Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels (the official method to run Windows on ARM-powered Macs), and they include the following:
  • Windows 11 Enterprise edition build 22621.1555 (Moment 2 Update)
  • 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

 

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Microsoft has released a new set of free virtual machines for developers. The Windows Development Environment (WDE) has been updated to version 2306, and you can download it for free from the official website.

The Windows 11 Development Environment is a set of virtual machines you can use without activation for free for 90 days. The project's main purpose is to provide developers with all the necessary tools to start making apps for Windows, which include the following:
  • 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 and pinned to the taskbar.
  • Windows Terminal installed.
  • Windows Developer mode enabled.
WDE version 2306 is based on Windows 11 Enterprise SKU with build number 22621.1848, the latest release currently available in the stable channel. Version 22621.1848 is also known as the "Moment 3" update. Check out our full review to learn what is new in the Windows 11 "Moment 3" update.

It is worth noting that Microsoft is gradually rolling out "Moment 3" features. Therefore, the updated virtual machines have the new features disabled by default, but you can bypass that with the corresponding toggle in Windows Update settings.

The Windows 11 Development Environment version 2306 is valid until September 13, 2023. Microsoft notes that you cannot activate these virtual machines since they are evaluation-only.
 

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Microsoft has released a new set of Windows 11-based virtual machines you can download from the official website for free. "Windows 11 development environment," or WDE, as the name implies, is a free virtual machine with Windows 11 Enterprise and all the developer tools one may need to start making applications for Microsoft's operating system. Those include the following:
  • 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 recently announced Dev Home Preview app is not there yet).
Windows 11 development environment version 2307 is based on Windows 11 build 22621.1992, the latest stable Windows 11 release that includes Patch Tuesday updates for July 2023. Virtual machines are available in four formats: VMWare (supports Workstation Pro and Workstation Player), Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels. Downloading WDE in one of those formats lets you set up a Windows 11-based virtual machine with just a few clicks.

Still, several limitations are worth noting. Although Microsoft's virtual machines are free for download and use, they are only valid for 90 days. According to the official website, WDE version 2307 will expire on October 10, 2023 (expect a newer version with a new expiration date next month). Also, you cannot activate a WDE—Microsoft says these do not support activation with a product key. Finally, Windows 11 development environment is x86-only, and Microsoft does not plan to provide developers with an ARM version.

If you want to try Windows 11 development environment, head to the official website and click one of four available formats. Before installing, make sure you have a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 70GB of free disk space. Microsoft also provides "clean" Windows Enterprise evaluation images without extra software installed. You can download them here (Windows 11) and here (Windows 10).
 

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Microsoft has released the August 2023 update for Windows Development Environment (WDE), its free set of Windows 11-based virtual machines available in different configurations. Version 2308 is now available for download from the official website in four formats for various virtualization software, and it is based on Windows 11 build 22621.2134, the latest cumulative update released earlier this month.

You can download and run Windows Development Environment using VMware (Workstation Player and Workstation Pro), VirtualBox, Parallels, or Hyper-V. The virtual machine will be available for free for 90 days, after which it will start nagging you with typical things an inactivated Windows copy does (a black desktop background, notifications, and periodic shutdowns). Still, Microsoft stresses that you cannot activate a copy of WDE since it is evaluation-only.

Windows Development Environment version 2308 is valid until November 7, 2023. As usual, expect another update with a new expiry date in the second half of the next month (version 2307 was released on July 25, 2023).

To get your copy of Windows Development Environment, head to the official website and select the format you need. Note that downloading WDE requires a minimum of 70GB of free space and 8GB of RAM. Also, ensure your computer supports virtualization and the technology is enabled in the optional features section. If you are not a developer and everything you need is just to check out what the latest Windows 11 release has to offer, check out the official evaluation images without extra software here.
 

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Microsoft releases new free Windows 11 virtual machines with the September 2023 update
Traditionally, by the end of each month, Microsoft releases new free virtual machines called "Windows Development Environment." These virtual machines come bundled with multiple developer tools that let app makers start creating apps for Windows. And if you are not a developer, the official virtual machines supplied by Microsoft provide a great and easy method to check out the latest changes in Windows 11.

Windows Development Environment virtual machines are available in four variants: VMware (Workstation Pro and Player), Hyper-V, VirtualBox, and Parallels Desktop (macOS). You can use them for free for 90 days, and after that period, you will have to download a newer version (Microsoft updates its virtual machines every month).

Windows Development Environment version 2309 is based on Windows 11 build 22621.2283, which means it includes the latest September 2023 Patch Tuesday updates. Note that since the Moment 4 is currently an optional non-security update, it is not available in WDE—expect Microsoft's virtual machines to get the latest features by the end of November 2023.
 

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Microsoft has updated its Windows 11-based virtual machines available for free during a 90-day evaluation period. The latest update, version 2310, is built upon the September 2023 Patch Tuesday updates, build number 22621.2283 (version 22H2).

If you are not interested in Microsoft's developer tools, you can download "clean" images without extra software. Click here to download a Windows 11 version or here if you prefer Windows 10.

Microsoft's official Windows 11 virtual machines are available in four formats, allowing you to download a prebuilt package and set up a virtual machine with a few clicks. Those formats include VMware (Workstation Pro and Player), Parallels Desktop for macOS, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V. All four variants are x86-only—there are still no ARM versions.
 

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Microsoft has released a new version of its Windows 11 virtual machines available for free during a 90-day evaluation period. The latest update, version 2311, lets you try the latest features Microsoft introduced in the Moment 4 update. Those include a redesigned File Explorer, a new volume mixer, native RGB controls, native RAR support, Copilot, and more.

Windows Development Environment (WDE) version 2311 is built upon Windows 11 Enterprise with build number 22621.2715 (the latest Patch Tuesday update). The new Moment 4 update features are enabled by default, so you can try them without installing any extra updates. However, you can update it to Windows 11 version 23H2, released on October 31, 2023.
You can download Windows Development Environment version 2311 from the official website. It is available as a prebuilt virtual machine for Hyper-V, VMware Workstation Pro and Workstation Player, Parallels Desktop for Mac, and VirtualBox. Note that WDE requires a minimum of 8GB of RAM and at least 70GB of free disk space. You can also download evaluation images without extra software here (Windows 10) and here (Windows 11).
 

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