Microsoft Makes 100,000 Copies Pre-RC1 Vista Available

Microsoft on Tuesday made available for public download 100,000 copies of a "pre-Release Candidate 1" (RC1) of Windows Vista hoping to enlist the aid of additional beta testers to swat down any last-minute bugs.

The latest beta version, which Microsoft released to a small number of beta testers last week, will only be on the company's site until the 100,000 limit is reached.

"Our goal in offering this build publicly is to help identify and track issues before RC1 is designated for release," according to Nick White, a Vista product manager, in posting an entry on the group's blog. "Despite being so close to the actual release date of RC1, the download, installation and usage feedback you send us on this build is still extremely important; otherwise, we'd not be spending resources on this interim build," he wrote.

The version of the pre-RC1 build of Windows Vista can be downloaded using Internet Explorer or Firefox. Because the new build is an .ISO file, Microsoft officials said to install the new release, users or developers must burn the .ISO file to a DVD.

The availability of this latest version serves to feed rumors over the past week or two that Microsoft indeed is ready to roll out RC1 sometime in September.

Also on Tuesday, a listing for Windows Vista on further fueled speculation as to when Microsoft would ship the finished version of the long-awaited operating system. According to the listing, the product will be available on January 30, 2007. Until now Microsoft officials would only say the business versions of Vista would be available by year's end with the consumer versions available in January 2007.

Pricing for the upcoming versions of Vista were leaked on Monday. Amazon, for instance, is currently listing the complete version of Windows Vista Ultimate for $399 with the Ultimate upgrade going for $259. Vista Business will cost $299 with Business Upgrade listing for $199. Home Basic and Home Premium will cost $199 and $239 respectively with the upgrade versions of those releases going for $99.95 and $159 respectively.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.


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