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Microsoft quietly delivers Windows 11 Enterprise VMs for devs

Loaded with all the goodies coders need to run wild with new OS, and packaged for four hypervisors

Microsoft has quietly slipped out a test cut of Windows 11 for developers.

A page titled Get a Windows 10 development environment appears to have been updated on November 18th to include a Windows 11 download (although the page title remained the same).

Microsoft suggests the VMs might be just the thing if you want 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".

The VM therefore includes the following:

  • Windows 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;

Playing with the VM should not prove problematic, as the Redmondians have packed it for hypervisors from four vendors: VMware, Redmond's own Hyper-V, Oracle's VirtualBox, and Parallels' eponymous product.

Microsoft seems to think developers have neither deadlines to meet before Christmas, nor festive relaxation plans — the VMs expire on January 9, 2022.

The Software Giant recently said it's accelerated its rollout of Windows 11, but as of last week the new OS appears to have won just 0.21 per cent of the enterprise market since its October 5 debut.

That low adoption rate is not entirely unexpected. Business users don't rush to adopt new Windows releases because they usually have plenty of bugs. In the case of Windows 11, problems have already emerged with Intel audio drivers and the Windows Snipping Tool, while preview builds have turned up nasties such as Microsoft's Edge browser making itself the only app capable of opening some links. ®

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