Windows 7 Trial Download: Free (90 Days), Extended

Dennis Faas's picture

Users of Microsoft's Windows Vista or Windows XP interested in taking the Redmond-based firm's new operating system (OS) Windows 7 for a trial now have until the end of 2010 to do so. As of yesterday, Microsoft extended the trial period to December 31st, 2010.

Those interested in trying out Windows 7, which since its release in late October 2009 has racked up some pretty favorable reviews, can download the trial version of the OS any time between now and the end of December direct from Microsoft. Downloaders of the free demo will find a version of Windows 7 with the same features as Windows 7 Ultimate, with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions available.

Trial Restricted to Enterprise Edition, 90 Days

"Due to popular demand, the Windows Enterprise Trial program has been extended. This means you now have till December 31, 2010 to download and evaluate the trial version," noted Microsoft's Stephen Rose, Windows senior community manager. (Source:

Even though Enterprise Edition of Windows 7 is explicitly labeled "for IT professionals," it is still a viable download for standard / home users wishing to try out the Windows 7 operating system as contains the Windows 7 core.

Backup your PC before you Download the Trial

Note that if you decide to try the demo, we recommend that you backup your entire PC using a disk-image backup program, capable of backing up your entire operating system. For this, we *highly* recommend using Acronis True Image. Even after using the trial, you can revert back to your old Windows system using True Image, as if nothing had happened.

Very few backup programs on the market can actually do this type of backup with the option to revert your entire operating system, and that's why we recommend True Image for this type of job. It's also a fantastic daily backup tool to use to backup your OS in the event of a catastrophic error (harddrive crash, spyware infection, etc). Full details here.

Update 2010/04/01: Special Notice: RE: Acronis True Image 40% discount -- EXTENDED this weekend only. When we got wind that Microsoft renewed the Windows 7 Free Trial, we contacted Acronis immediately and asked for an extension on our 40% discount for True Image (which previously expired March 31st). Good news: they obliged! The 40% off Acronis True Image deal is now good until Monday, April 5th at 11:59PM EST. This is your *last* chance to grab True Image at this specially discounted price! Full details here.

Windows 7 Trial Download Must be Activated

It's important prospective users of the demo pay attention to the small print: for one, downloaders will have to activate the trial within the first ten days. They will then have a full 90 days to try the operating system as if it were a full version. However, after that 90-day period the system will begin to shut down once an hour, with requests that the user purchase and install a full version.

Demo A Good Choice for Borderline PCs

Microsoft has listed the minimum requirements for operating the Windows 7 trial here. They include a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB available hard disk space, and DirectX 9.0-compatible graphics device. If your system falls right around those requirements, then giving the demo a try before purchasing the full (and rather expensive) version might be an excellent idea, indeed.

An Upgrade Advisor program is also available to show users whether or not their systems can effectively manage Windows 7.

Users of the trial who insist on using it beyond the evaluation period should note that Microsoft won't provide any support, nudging that responsibility onto various FAQs and Windows 7 support forums. (Source:

Download Windows 7 32-bit Trial: Free (90 Days)

More info on the Windows 7 Enterprise Download:

Direct download to Windows 7 Enterprise trial (32-bit):

Direct download to Windows 7 Enterprise trial (64-bit):

Note: if you're not sure which version to download, we suggest the 32-bit version of Windows 7 for compatibility reasons, especially with legacy hardware. You can also try the upgrade advisor if you're _really_ not sure.

Upgrading from XP to Windows 7

The below articles were previously published online our website and explain the basics on how to backup your Windows XP system before you install Windows 7, plus it it explains how to retrieve your backed up data after Windows 7 is installed.


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