Microsoft recently rolled out a free set of virtual machines for Windows 11. What’s more, the company has also updated its Windows Development Environment (WDE), bumping it to version 2306. You can already download the latest update for free from the official website.
Windows Development Environment is a set of virtual machines that don’t require activation and can be used for free for up to 90 days. Microsoft uses it to provide developers with a platform where they can easily develop Windows apps since it features all the necessary tools required to make this happen, as highlighted below:
- Visual Studio 2022 Community Edition with USP, .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.
It’s also worth noting that WDE version 2306 is based on Windows 11 Enterprise SKU, build number 22621.1848. As you might know, this is the latest release currently available in the stable channel. The update was recently shipped to users via this month’s Patch Tuesday update (also Windows 11’s Moment 3 Update).
Microsoft is rolling out the update in features; therefore, you might not be able to access the features instantly. You can also learn more about the features shipping with this update in our detailed post. As for the updated virtual machines, the features have been disabled by default. However, you can bypass this via the corresponding toggle in Windows Update settings.
Developers can leverage the Windows 11 Development Environment version 2306 until September 13, 2023. Microsoft has also indicated that users won’t be able to activate these virtual machines because they are evaluation only.
Available configurations will include VMWare (workstation and player), Hyper-V second generation, VirtualBox, and Parallels (sadly, the project does not have an ARM version). To get the VM, you’ll need a minimum of 8GB of RAM and at least 70GB of disk space.