Thursday, September 14, 2006

Windows Vista RC1 now available to general public

Early today, Microsoft opened the doors to all comers who would like to test Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1). Testers can access the 2.52GB of data that makes up the next version of Windows either via download or on a DVD that will be sent in the mail.

To initiate either process, would-be testers should visit the Vista Get Ready page and click the "Get Vista RC1" link.

Before today, only previously registered members of the Microsoft's Customer Preview Program (CPP) -- the 1.5 million people who accessed Vista Beta 1 in the same fashion earlier this year -- were given access to RC1. Although Microsoft hasn't officially announced the number of new CPP registrants it will allow for RC1, some Microsoft executives had previously estimated that the number would reach an additional 1.5 million testers.

For those of you wishing to download Vista you will need to have a windows live login ID and password and they will provide you witha new cd key on the download page. Make sure to copy it down and keep it somewhere safe.

Please note that Vista is beta software meant for testing only. There are still several bugs and compatability issue and several companies have yet to release drivers for their components. I do not recommed installing this as your main operating system. Once you do install Vista there is no way to roll-back to your old OS so it is best to install it on a seperate partion or hard drive.

Those who request the DVD to be mailed to them will be required to sign in with a Microsoft PassPort (not called Windows Live) e-mail address, answer some demographic questions and pay $5 in the U.S. for media and postage. Delivery will take two to four weeks.

Windows Vista is due out by early next year.

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