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Use VMs for Windows 10 Development

Microsoft is making it so much more convenient for developers to get hands-on experience building Windows 10- and UWP-based apps -- via preconfigured Windows 10-based virtual machines.

Microsoft is making it so much more convenient for developers to get their hands dirty building Windows 10- and UWP-based apps without having to do lots of hardware and software acquisition and configuration. Instead, the company now has Windows 10 environments preconfigured for use on virtual machine environments.

"Last year, we released the evaluation VMs and we took the feedback to heart that you wanted a fully configured Windows 10 development environment that won't expire," said Clint Rutkas, a Microsoft Program Manager, in a blog post on the Windows Developer site.

As Rutkas notes, the evaluation version with the expiration date is still available (and currently, any VMs spun up with this version will stop being accessible after Oct. 31), but the addition of a non-expiring Professional VM that comes with a full compliment of Windows 10 developer tools is what's new. The Pro version requires a Windows 10 Professional license key to use it; a single-use license can be obtained in the Microsoft Store.

The VMs are available for installation on four different VM environments: Microsoft's own Hyper-V, VMware, VirtualBox, and Parallels.

With either version, developers gain access to the following platforms and tools:

  • 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 on Ubuntu for Windows

In addition, these tools are also available in their VM form via the Azure portal.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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