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Free Windows 10 Virtual Machines Lets Anyone Try Microsoft's Edge Browser

 

Even though Microsoft's Edge browser has been available to Windows 10 users since its release on July 29, not everyone has tried it yet.  Perhaps you have no interest in upgrading to Windows 10, or maybe you just haven't gotten around to it yet.  Either way, if you have an interest in trying your hand at the new browser, you can now do so without updating your main system.

Microsoft has announced that it is making available a set of free virtual machines (VMs) with Windows 10 and the new Edge browser.  It's designed for Web developers to test how Websites function with the new browser software, but anyone with a virtualization platform can use it -- and in return, receive a safe Windows 10 environment that they can try out.

At the moment, Microsoft has made virtual machines available for VMware, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox virtualization platforms.  Mac users can access the VM using Parallels, VirtualBox and VMware, while Linux users will be able to access it using VirtualBox.  This breakdown has most of the bases covered, but Microsoft still promises that in the coming weeks, it will be adding other formats as well, adding:

"By popular demand, we’ll also be supporting new formats for VMs, starting with Vagrant boxes (with VirtualBox) and QEMU.  You can expect to see these starting in the coming weeks.  We are also continuing to work on making Microsoft Edge available via Azure RemoteApp and will provide further updates as we make progress."

Microsoft went on to say, "With this release, we have automated the process we use to create the virtual machines, so future updates will be available more quickly as the platform is updated."

It's also important to note, this isn't a free path to running Windows 10 long term.  If you want to operate on Windows 10, you're still going to need to upgrade.  Along with the download of these VMs, Microsoft warns that these virtual machines will expire after 90 days, and users will lose any and all data upon expiration.  For testing purposes, Microsoft recommends setting a snapshot when you first install the virtual machine which users can roll back to later.

The Redmond giant also warns that there is a known issue with the virtual machines.  Windows 10 virtual machines may display a message in the Settings app that reads "Connect to the Internet to activate."  This is because of a bug, but don't worry, Microsoft said it doesn't impact the activation state or functionality of the virtual machine.

The company has also made it clear that it has no plans to bring the Edge browser to any other Windows platform besides Windows 10.  So if you aren't planning to upgrade your environment, don't expect to run this browser any other way beyond doing so in a virtual machine... for 90 days at a time.
Published Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:29 AM by David Marshall
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