Microsoft is a very generous company when it comes to offering free editions of Windows Vista and Windows XP. However, the Redmond Company's generosity does not stop short of offering free downloads of the two versions of its Windows client operating system. But together with Vista and XP, Microsoft is delivering 15 free downloads.
First of, as I know that this is why you are here, Microsoft is offering Windows Vista Enterprise as a free download for evaluation purposes. More important is the fact that you will be able to access the version of Vista which is normally reserved for Microsoft's Software assurance customers via volume licensing. The operating system is offered as a pre-configured VHD and is time bombed at 30 days.
"For organizations with complex desktop infrastructures, whether large or small, Windows Vista Enterprise is the operating system designed specifically to help realize a better return on IT investments. In this VHD, you'll have the opportunity to road-test new and improved features including management (e.g. MUI, BDD, etc ) usability (e.g. Search, Navigation, etc ) and security (UAC, Windows Defender, etc ), enhancements to the Windows Vista platform," reads a fragment of the Microsoft description for the Windows Vista 30-Day Eval VHD.
As for Windows XP, users will be able to download and use two versions of the second service pack for the operating system bundled with Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 6 and delivered as VPC images for Virtual PC 2007. Both Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images containing IE7 and IE6 on top of Windows XP SP2 will expire on 08/17/2007.
And there is still more: a total of 13 free downloads from Microsoft containing a collection of software products designed for testing and evaluation.