Microsoft offers 90-day Windows 7 Enterprise trials

— 6:00 AM on September 3, 2009

Missed the Windows 7 release candidate? Don't feel like getting what may or may not be the final-release ISO from a shady BitTorrent tracker? Good news: Microsoft provides another avenue to sample the new operating system. As CrunchGear points out, the company is giving out free 90-day trials of Windows 7 Enterprise.

Just head to this page with your Windows Live ID handy to sign up. Officially, only IT professionals—you know, people who'd actually install the Enterprise edition—can download the installer disc image. Here's what the official FAQ says:

IT pros, IT decision makers, and developers who are looking to test their hardware, software, and deployment strategies on Windows 7 can download the Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial. You must correctly fill-out a survey to gain access to the download. Incorrect or incomplete surveys will be denied access to download Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial.

However, the survey doesn't appear to involve any background checking. As far as we can tell, anyone could claim to be an IT manager and download the installation image without issue. We wouldn't condone such blatant disregard for the rules, of course.

The FAQ also notes that the 90-day trial has a "product key built in," so no need to key in numbers during the installation. Just make sure to let the operating system activate within 10 days, or it'll start shutting down every hour.

According to Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows, the Enterprise edition of Windows 7 has the same features as the retail Ultimate edition. In other words, it includes all of the goodies from the Home Premium and Business editions plus a handful of others.

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