Like Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows NT and others. I want to test and compare operating systems for my satisfaction of learning new things.


If you have a MSDN paid subscription, you have an access to various downloads, and especially old (and very old like Windows 3.11) operating system ISO (CD and DVD) along with the required licensing information.

  • oh thanks, but I'm still a student and dont have money for paid subscription, hehe – soul Dec 6 '09 at 11:26
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    many schools have MSDNAA- which is an acedemic version of MSDN – Journeyman Geek Dec 6 '09 at 11:42
  • Says here eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/29732329/… that Microsoft is barred from posting those online, due to the Sun Java legal issues. – hyperslug Dec 6 '09 at 15:39
  • The good news is that by 2006, I think all 3 of those reached End of Support. Couple that with their low internet presence marketshare.hitslink.com/…, and I'd say you can safely exclude them from future testing. Hah, more people browse from an iPhone than from NT/ME/98 combined – hyperslug Dec 6 '09 at 16:06

Try Microsoft's Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Images. You can't get really old OSes, but you can use them to legally play with Windows XP and Vista.

They do expire after some time, but you can always download the new versions and continue testing/playing.

  • not really, all you get is XP (with IE6,7 or 8) or Vista (with IE7 or 8), that's it. – Molly7244 Dec 6 '09 at 16:21
  • Yes, as I said in my answer you only get Windows XP & Vista, not really old OSes. However, I'm thinking that you might be able to get an unopened copy off of eBay (or something like that). In fact, I have a copy of OS/2 Warp that you can have for $10. It's not Microsoft but it is old. :) – Richard Hurt Dec 7 '09 at 11:58

You can't. Although these operating systems are old, unsupported and no longer for sale, they are still owned by Microsoft and therefore are still illegal to distribute for free (Unless you are Microsoft).

  • Is that so, I thought I could find them somewhere in the internet – soul Dec 6 '09 at 11:16
  • Maybe you could, but Windows is a proprietary OS, and it would be illegal to provide free downloads unless sanctioned by Microsoft, so we're not recommending it. – pavium Dec 6 '09 at 11:19
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    The question does not state free downloads, just where. – Laurent Etiemble Dec 6 '09 at 11:27
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    I know what the question states. I also know what the question infers. – Josh Hunt Dec 6 '09 at 12:28
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    @joshhunt, I wonder how legal it is to provide only the media without license? – hyperslug Dec 6 '09 at 16:10

Beta Archive has lots of old software, but you need to make 10 contributing posts on the forum to get FTP access.

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