Microsoft has released a pre-built and pre-configured Windows 7 VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) for Hyper-V Server which allows user to instantly mount and run the virtual machine running Windows 7 Enterprise to evaluate and try Windows 7 for 90 days, for free. The free Windows 7 VHD image is in addition to free Windows 7 Enterprise installation DVD ISO which also valid for 3 months evaluation.
The pre-packaged Windows 7 90-Day Eval VHD image contains feature complete and fully functional copy of Windows 7 Enterprise edition which already been installed and configured, and ready to be used without the need to install again. Windows 7 Enterprise edition is almost equivalent to Windows 7 Ultimate edition except that it’s targeted at corporate and business users, and requires activation via KMS or MAK, both available through volume licensing distribution channels.
Windows 7 90-Day Eval VHD image is recommended to be used on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, or the R2 versions of these products, officially. However, it should also works on client-side virtualization solutions from Microsoft such as Windows Virtual PC. However, as Windows Virtual PC does not support Windows Aero and 64-bit (x64) system architecture, users who mount the Windows 7 VHD on Windows Virtual PC will not get the full Windows 7 experience.
Windows 7 VHD runs for a maximum of 90 days after activation. Product key which valid for 90 days free usage is built-in and embedded into VHD image, but user still require to activate the product, within 10 days, or else the system will shut down once every hour until activated. Besides, the 90-day trial Windows 7 operating system will also shut down once every hour after reaching the end of the 90-day evaluation period.
The free Windows 7 90-Day Eval VHD is available from Microsoft Download Center (Genuine Windows validation required to be pass), or download the 3 complete parts of VHD images using the following direct download links:
Run the executable to extract the Windows7Fullx86Ent90Days folder that contains all the files necessary to deploy this evaluation image. Then, add the VHD package as a new virtual machine to your Hyper-V installation using Hyper-V Manager, and configure the virtual networks to allow LAN and WAN access. The Windows 7 virtual machine can then be launched and used.
The 90-day Windows 7 trial is offered for a limited time and in limited quantity. The OS activation will be available through March 31, 2010 or while supplies last.
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