In the past Microsoft used to make their entire development stack available in virtual machines that could be used to explore the Windows development tools.

These images always used evaluation versions of Windows and had an expiration date when they would stop working. This would require downloading a new version of the virtual machine and starting all over.

This could be especially disruptive if you found the development tools to your liking and you wanted to keep working in this virtual machine.

Well last week Microsoft, based on feedback from users of these virtual machines, released updated versions that do not have any expiration date and you can use your own Windows 10 Professional product key to license the operating system in that VM and continue working with the tools it contains.

Beyond that one change the virtual machines contain everything you need for Windows based development:

  • Windows 10 Pro, Version 1607
  • Visual Studio 2015 Community Update 3 (Build 14.0.25425.01)
  • Windows developer SDK and tools (Build 14393)
  • Microsoft Azure SDK for .NET (Build 2.9.5)
  • Windows Bridge for iOS (Build 0.2.160914)
  • Windows UWP samples (September 2016)
  • Windows Bridge for iOS samples
  • Bash for Windows

The old evaluation versions that will expire still exist and they along with the new licensed option can be downloaded from the Windows Dev Center Virtual Machines page.

Both downloads are available for Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox and Parallels.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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