I'm looking to set up a small development environment at home and I'm trying to figure out my options (a key consideration for me is price). Assume I have nothing but a Windows 7 32 bit PC.

I think my options are:

  • [Free] Follow this tutorial and install SharePoint directly onto my Windows 7 PC. This sounds very bad to me...
  • [Free] VirtualBox running a free trial of Windows Server 2008 running as a guest OS on my Windows 7 PC. This would only be free for 180 days until Windows Server 2008 expires?
  • [Expensive (slightly less)] Buy a 64 bit machine and a technet subscription. Then, download Windows Server 2008. Is this even a valid option since technet is for evaluation purposes only?
  • [Expensive] Buy a 64 bit machine and a MSDN subscription. Then, download Windows Server 2008. Seems like this would get me a full license of MSVS 2010 and Windows Server 2008
  • [Expensive] Buy a 64 bit machine and a license for Windows Server 2008

Then, install either WSS 3.0 or Foundation 2010.

I'm hoping I can get some good advice, since reading all the HOWTOs has really just made me more confused. Help!

2 Answers 2


Why not start with the VirtualBox approach? Its free and if you prove to yourself that you'll actually use it, then you can spend the money on a proper environment.

If you run your own company you can also get an Action Pack license for around £259 that likely gives you access to the software you need.

  • Makes sense... I might as well try the free approach first. Did not know about the Action Pack license.
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 14:17
  • What is it you want to learn? If you just want to get a sense for SharePoint dev then WSS is fine, but download WSPBuilder to help you with deployment. Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 17:31
  • This is what I decided to go with: VirtualBox + Windows Server 2008 + WSS 3.0.
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 18:25
  • Cool. Added bonus that you can always work your way through an SP2010 upgrade. Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 21:53

You're gonna have to shell out money for 64 bit hardware if you want to do ANY SharePoint 2010 development. Simple as.

As for licensing, why get a TechNet Subscription when you can get an MSDN Subscription, where you'll get tools like Visual Studio which you'll need to do any decent level of development. You'll still get server licences for development.

Costs might seem quite high but once you get working you can recover the costs quite quickly.

  • Yeah... I agree that buying a 64 bit machine and getting an MSDN subscription is probably the best option if possible. I wanted to make sure I evaluated all my options (especially since I'm not sure if I want to commit or not).
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 22:17

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