Microsoft today announced the public availability of pre-configured VHD (Virtual Machine Images) files for common server scenarios. These contain trial editions of Microsoft Server software like Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2005, Exchange Server 2007 and more, set up as VPC images and ready to run in few minutes after download.

Microsoft Partners and ISVs can use these to create new images with their solutions pre-installed. This makes businesses’ experience of trying out new software (especially complex setups like Active Directory or Exchange Server) that much more easier.

This completes the cycle of Microsoft making everything available for trying Virtual environments – first, they made Virtual Server free, then VPC 2004/2007 and now pre-configured images. (Read my earlier post on this)

It is only once in a while, Microsoft comes out with such goodies especially those concerning Licensing (doing something like this earlier would have been possible but complicated due to legal licensing issues involved). Thank you Microsoft and don’t stop with this, please come out early with VHDs for all common scenarios.

Download from Technet VHD site here

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