Microsoft has released a new version of its Windows 11 development environment (2302). This is a free Windows 11 virtual machine available during the evaluation period. This means that users can download the ready-to-use VM from Microsoft’s official 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 virtual machines. It also enables developer mode by default.
Windows 11 Development Environment version 2302 is based on Windows 11 Build 22621.1265 (Windows 11 version 22H2 Moment 1), which users can update to the Moment 2 update (optional KB5022913) immediately after setting up the VM.
Although users can use the VM without activation, certain features still require a license key. For example, personalization settings cannot be changed. Microsoft also warns that after May 23, 2023, the desktop background will go black, users will see constant activation notifications, and the virtual machine will shut down hourly. However, Microsoft will likely release an updated version before this one expires (the last update was on January 21, 2023).
Users can download the latest Windows 11 virtual machines from Microsoft on their website. They require at least 21GB of free space on your computer’s hard drive.