Microsoft said Tuesday that its new Windows 7 computer operating system is now available to tech pros for a free, three-month trial.
The software can be downloaded from Microsoft's TechNet Web site and can be used for 90 days.
"Many IT pros we talk to have been looking for a way to continue their work with the Release Candidate to test their applications, hardware, and deployment strategies with final Windows 7 bits," wrote Microsoft's Stephen Rose, in a blog post.
"In response, we have created the Windows 7 Enterprise 90 Day trial edition," said Rose.
Rose said the offer is aimed at businesses that do not yet have access to Windows 7 through a Software Assurance volume license agreement or through MSDN or TechNet subscriptions.
"This evaluation release is specifically intended for IT professionals responsible for desktop administration," Rose said, though it was unclear how closely Microsoft plans to check downloaders' credentials.
Rose said only a limited number of trial licenses are available, so downloads would be offered only while supplies last. Users who wish to continue running Windows 7 after the trial period expires will have to purchase a Windows 7 Enterprise license and perform a clean installation to run the software.
The trial edition is available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese in 32-bit and 64-bit editions, said Rose. Microsoft ended Windows 7 Release Candidate downloads last month. The OS will launch to consumers on Oct. 22nd.
The full version of Windows 7 Home Premium is priced at $199, with an upgrade from Vista or XP costing $119. The full version of Windows 7 Professional is $299, with upgrades going for $199. Windows 7 Ultimate is priced at $319, with the upgrade version at $219.