I want a pre-configured SharePoint 2010 Enviornment where everything is configured properly and "just works". Is there a cloud-based solution available that's inexpensive and suitable for development or a VM I can download from somewhere and run on my development PC?
CloudShare is the only service I know that offers pre-configured, cloud-hosted SharePoint development VMs. I pay $60 a month for their Pro Plus service, which I feel is fair for what they offer.
Try Windows Azure (http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/). He's have preconfigurate VM within SharePoint and 30 day trial period. Also some time away in microsoft.com i was saw HyperV image with SharePoint 2010 Dev Enviroment for testing. In other case you can manualy download all software (Windows Server 2008 R2, SharePoint, VisuaStudio) and install to virtual machine.
As far as I know the only choice is CloudShare which has best price of $60/month. You can even try for 1 month free.
You can also setup your own VM on your computer if you have 6-8 GB RAM in your computer, and it is easy to do it.
If you need someone, you can look for freelance guys at Elance, oDesk, or Freelancer and someone will do this for you at good price.
You need VM software. Get free one from VirtualBox.
Windows Server 2008 or 2012, get the trail for 180 days (6 months) from Microsoft site.
MS SQL Server 2012 trail for 180 days (6 months).
SharePoint Foundation is free and for SharePoint 2010 Server you can also get 180 days (6 months) trial.
Okay, Cloudshare is not the way to go. I went to the TechEd 2013:
@hupseb: Seems to be very easy to put #SharePoint 2013 into #Azure. Check out the slides: http://t.co/CwMaSykfim #tee13
It is very easy to run the Powershellskript in the link above. It needs only 30 minutes and you have a small tier in the azure cloud.
With the big MSDN acc you have 150€ free each month. Thats about 150h time to work.
Here are the scripts: https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-samples
Here are the cloud benefits: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/
Here again the presentation: http://co1-powerpoint.officeapps.live.com/p/mPPT.aspx?PowerPointView=ReadingView&ui=de%2DDE&rs=de%2DDE&WOPISrc=http%3A%2F%2Fco1%2D15%2Dview%2Dwopi%2Ewopi%2Elive%2Enet%3A808%2Foh%2Fwopi%2Ffiles%2F%40%2FwFileId%3FwFileId%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fvideo%252Ech9%252Ems%252Fsessions%252Fteched%252Feu%252F2013%252FMDC%252DB213%252Epptx&access_token=1&access_token_ttl=0&wdMobileHost=2
If you deside to use your notebook only you can work on it and you need SSDs and for Search Development much RAM in SharePoint 2013.
So if you need it for yourself buy fat SSDs otherwise use Azure with your MSDN acc!!!!!!!!
- Trial duration: 30 days
- 750 Skytap-VM Hours
- 5 Concurrent Skytap-VM units
- 250 GB Storage
- Advanced networking
- FTP access
- 2 concurrent VM imports
- 100 GB Max import depot
- 10 GB shared drive
Features not available during Self-service Trials:
- VPN access
- Public IPs
- Private branding of Skytap interface
Not directly relevant to OP question but useful to note for SharePoint 2013 users, it is not clear if Skytap offers a VM template for SharePoint 2013 RTM, their website only lists a SharePoint 2013 Preview VM template.
I purchased this and it worked. http://www.sharepointcto.com/VM/SharePoint2013VM.aspx
I tried a free one, but trial period expired. https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/SharePoint-2013-RTM-Trial-9e198fec