Evaluation Copies of Microsoft Software
My students often ask me where to get the evaluation copies of various Microsoft products. I’ve put together a list of some of the latest evaluation software downloads. My goal is to try and keep this list updated but frankly it is going to be challenging because for the past several decades Microsoft has consistently changed the URLs on its Web sites without any redirection. Here is a list of either free or trial editions of some of the popular Microsoft products. A typical Microsoft evaluation software includes a 180-day trial but some are limited to 60, 90, or 120 days.
Microsoft has replaced the old terminology used for identifying beta products with a newer naming convention. Do you find the old terminology easier to understand or the new one?
- Release Candidate
(e.g. Office 20106 Preview)
- IT Preview
(e.g. SharePoint 2016 IT Preview)
- Technical Preview
(e.g. Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview)
- Community Technical Preview
(e.g. SQL Server 2016 Community Technical Preview)
List of Evaluation Products
I first published this list on July 12, 2010. Since that time, as new versions become available, I’ve tried to keep the list updated. However, if you find a broken link please let me know. The broken link will have a line across the URL so it is easy to identify.
- Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (Free)
- Advanced Threat Analytics
- BizTalk Server 2016 (180-days Trial)
- Exchange Server 2013 (180-day Trial)
- Host Integration Server 2016 (180-day Trial)
- Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006 (180-day Trial)
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016
- Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 (180-day Trial)
- Office 365 Pro Plus (30-day Trial)
- Office Professional Plus 2013 (60-day Trial) (Recommend 32-bit)
- Office Professional Plus 2016 for Students (Free)
- Office 2016 for Mac for Students (Free)
- Project Professional 2016 (180-day Trial) (Recommend 32-bit)
- Project Server 2013 (180-day Trial)
- Project Server 2016 (160-day Trial)
- Skype for Business Server 2015 (180-day Trial)
- SharePoint Designer 2010 (Free) (Recommend 32-bit)
- SharePoint Designer 2013 (Free) (Recommend 32-bit)
- SharePoint Server 2013 (180-day Trial)
- SharePoint Server 2016 (180-day Trial)
- SQL Server 2016 (108-day Trial)
- SQL Server 2016 Community Technology Preview
- System Center 2016 (180-day Trial)
- System Center 2012 R2 (180-day Trial)
- Visio Professional 2016 (60-day Trial) (Recommend 32-bit)
- Windows 8.1 Enterprise (90-day Trial)
- Windows 10 Enterprise (90-day Trial)
- Windows Azure (30-day Trial)
- Windows Intune (90-day Trial)
- Windows Server 2012 (180-day Trial)
- Windows Server 2012 Essentials (180-day Trial) Formerly Small Business Server
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (180-day Trial) Formerly Small Business Server
- Windows Server 2016 (180-day Trial)
WARNING! I should warn you that sometimes when you download a trial software you may think that you are opting out of receiving phone calls and e-mails from Microsoft but you are not. For more information read my blog post: When Microsoft Says No, It May Mean Yes.
I am glad to report that Microsoft finally decided to do what people like me have been doing for years (post links to Microsoft evaluation software in one place). You can visit TechNet Evaluation Center and download full-featured evaluation copies of software at no cost. However, keep in mind that at the time I updated this post, some links were missing from the TechNet Evaluation Center. For example, the person who updates Microsoft’s Web site posted SharePoint Server 2013 but instead of adding SharePoint Foundation 2013 to the list, he/she accidentally added SharePoint Foundation 2010. However, these type of minor errors are pretty rare. Not all the links are from TechNet Evaluation Center. Some of the links are still scattered around because they are retired products, such as SharePoint Designer, which are still widely used by people around the world.
These evaluation copies of Microsoft products are really useful. In my opinion, Microsoft offers more free products to consumers than any software manufacturer I know. And I am not talking about free evaluation software, I am talking about free tools, utilities, and various products and services. I remember back in the 90s, when other vendors used to charge for TCP/IP, Microsoft was offering the protocol suite at no charge as part of Windows NT Server operating system. To this day, Microsoft doesn’t charge for the protocol. The company I worked for at that time decided to switch from Novell operating system to Microsoft Windows NT. Why? Because it would have cost the company $70,000 in software licensing from Novell, but it paid about $1,000 for Windows NT Server for unlimited licenses. Yes, at that time Microsoft was trying to attract new customers and the Windows Server was offered to the company with unlimited end user licenses. Besides software, Microsoft offers free TechNet and MSDN labs which are a series of guided, hands-on labs which can be completed in 90 minutes or less. In addition, Microsoft offers free training videos delivered by experts through Microsoft Virtual Academy.
Original Post: July 12, 2010
Updated: May 27, 2011
Updated: December 12, 2012
Updated: June 14, 2013
Updated: October 22, 2013
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