The latest operating system from Microsoft comes in four different flavors, Windows Vista Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate. The Redmond Company's offer has also been adapted to the European market, with stripped down nuances of some versions. Moreover, Microsoft has limited access to certain editions of the platform. In this regard, Windows Vista Starter edition is available exclusively to end-users in 139 developing markets around the world.
And Windows Vista Enterprise is the case of a restriction. Microsoft made the enterprise edition available two months before the other versions of the operating system. Back in November 30, 2006, in the RASDAQ headquarters in New York, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was officially launching Vista Enterprise to business customers.
While the general public had to wait until January 30, 2007 in order to get their hands on a copy of Vista, enterprise customers from Microsoft's Software Assurance program started deploying Windows Vista Enterprise, along with the 2007 Office System and Exchange Server 2007, as early as December 2006. But even with the general availability of the operating system, the Vista Enterprise edition is still restricted to Software Assurance customers.
Well, this aspect has changed. Microsoft has posted a download link for Windows Vista Enterprise. The operating system is offered for free, but it is intended for testing purposes only. The operating system is included into a pre-configured VHD. Microsoft invites users to test-drive and evaluate Vista Enterprise, and throws in Virtual PC or Virtual Server for VHD based virtual machines.
"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," informed the Redmond Company.
Microsoft Windows Vista VHD is available for download via this link.