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Microsoft plies corporate customers with Windows 10 Creators Update free trial

Microsoft this week offered corporate customers a free 90-day trial of the enterprise-grade edition of Windows 10's latest version, continuing its pitch to businesses that have yet to deploy the new operating system.

Yesterday marked the official launch of Windows 10 Creators Update, the latest feature upgrade in the OS's software-as-a-service model. Microsoft also tagged Creators Update as 1703 using its yymm alternate nomenclature.

The evaluation offer was for Windows 10 Enterprise, the SKU (stock-keeping unit) widely used in large organizations. Windows 10 Enterprise is generally available only to customers who have volume-licensing agreements and carry Software Assurance annuity contracts.

But the Enterprise eval is not limited to customers from large companies. Microsoft does not vet those who request the trial, so anyone with a Microsoft Account -- often the same as their Outlook webmail credentials -- can download and install the OS.

Users can download either a 32- or 64-bit version of 1703 from Microsoft's evaluation center website. Registration is required, as is a Microsoft Account. The downloads are in disk image, or .iso, format. Several language-specific editions are available, including Chinese, English, German, Korean and Spanish.

The refreshed Windows 10 Enterprise evaluation expires after 90 days, but is fully functional during that time.

At the end of the free trial, the copy of Windows 10 Enterprise will falter, although it will never completely break down. "If you fail to activate this evaluation after installation, or if your evaluation period expires, the desktop background will turn black, you will see a persistent desktop notification indicating that the system is not genuine, and the PC will shut down every hour," Microsoft stated in the accompanying notes.

Microsoft has regularly offered three-month trials of its Windows 10 Enterprise SKU -- going back to the initial mid-2015 version -- as well as for predecessors like Windows 8.

Computerworld

The free 90-day trial can be downloaded as 32- or 64-bit versions in several language-specific editions, including Chinese, English, Japanese and Spanish.

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