Microsoft is offering Windows 7 RTM as a free download. That’s right! Completely free, no catch, no strings attached. The Redmond-based company is delivering customers the possibility of continuing the testing of its latest iteration of the Windows client even after the Release Candidate Build 7100 development milestone downloads have been discontinued. In this regard, the Windows 7 RTM Enterprise edition bits are currently up for grabs straight from the software giant. Customers will be able to test drive the release for no less than 90 days.
Stephen L. Rose, Senior community manager, Windows IT Pro Client, explained that the free Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-day evaluation comes as a consequence of direct input from IT professionals. “Many IT pros we talk to have been looking for a way to continue their work with the Release Candidate to test their applications, hardware and deployment strategies with final Windows 7 bits. In response, we have created the Windows 7 Enterprise 90 Day trial edition, available beginning [September 1, 2009],” Rose noted.
Microsoft is already offering the RTM of Windows 7 via a variety of channels to specialized audiences. However, the free Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-day evaluation comes with no limitations, and is available for download for all IT pros independent of the subscription-based or volume licensing sources. At the same time, the general public can also access downloads, provided that they specify an IT professional role when they register for Windows 7 RTM Enterprise on the Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial webpage.
“This evaluation version is for IT Professionals who do not yet have access to Windows 7 RTM through one of the following means: Through a Software Assurance Volume License agreement; Through MSDN and TechNet subscriptions; Through Software Assurance agreements allowing the download of Windows 7 RTM via the Volume Licensing Download Center,” Rose added.
What are customers getting? Well, the Enterprise SKU is the equivalent of the Windows 7 Ultimate edition, but is reserved for Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance and will not be offered at retail. The free Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-day evaluation is the complete, fully-featured high-end edition of Windows Vista’s successor. But if you want it, you’ll have to hurry.
Rose revealed a “few things to be aware of before you download the Evaluation code.
-A limited number of licenses are available, so the download will only be available while supplies last.
- Following the 90-day evaluation period, IT Pros who wish to continue to use Windows 7 Enterprise will be required to purchase and perform a clean installation of Windows 7, including drivers and applications.
-Windows 7 Enterprise Edition 90-Day Trial is the final Released-to-Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 Enterprise Edition. This is the same software that is available to Volume Licensing (VL) through Software Assurance (SA) and is feature-complete.
- Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial is available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese in both 32 and 64 bit versions.
- Activation of Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial is required within 10 days after installation, or the product will shut down every hour. Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial is valid for 90 days after installation. After expiration, your computer will shut down every hour.”
Windows 7 RTM Enterprise 90-Day Evaluation is available for download here.