Continuing the trend of making it easy to get your hands on a pre-configured environment to help evaluate and learn the new stuff, there are a number of great (and I mean this in several senses of the word) downloads available for you to grab and fire straight up.
This is a VPC image that has been pre-configured with Windows Vista, Visual Studio 2008 (trial), and the .NET Framework 3.5. The VPC also contained the hands-on labs, demo scripts, and presentations from the Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training Kit (just the thing to use to show off some new stuff at your next User Group meeting)
The Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training VPC (Vista) is now available for download on the Microsoft.com Download center. You can find links to download the self-extracting files for the VPC here.
Please Note: This VPC expired on 16 December 2007. You should be able to use your Vista key from MSDN or TechNet if you’re a subscriber. Alternatively, you can extend the grace period by 30 days by using the
slmgr -rearm command (see, for example, Jeff Atwood’s post).
And via Keith Combs:
Exchange Server 2007 SP1 VHD – 1.8GB download
SQL Server 2008 November CTP VHD – 2.2GB download (yes, it’s got the Spatial Bits!)
ForeFront and System Center Demo Toolkit – 1.8GB download
System Center Essentials 2007 – 2.6GB download