This is one of those good news/bad news situations. The good new? Microsoft has made available a 90-day evaluation version of Windows 7 Enterprise. The bad? It will only be made available until March 31, 2010 or, far more likely, while supplies last. The issue, it seems, is that there are only a certain, unspecified number of Product Keys available. And once they're gone, the eval version will be pulled. Microsoft's Stephen Rose explains:
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 today.
This evaluation version is for IT Professionals who do not yet have access to Windows 7 RTM. [It] will provide a means to have the final released code for evaluation and testing. This evaluation release is specifically intended for IT professionals responsible for desktop administration; consumers will be able to purchase Windows 7 on October 22, 2009.
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.
If you wish to continue to use Windows 7 Enterprise please note that you will be required to purchase and perform a clean installation of Windows 7, including drivers and applications. Please keep this in mind; Windows 7 Enterprise is not available through retail channels.
Download: Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial
Thanks to everyone that wrote in about this.