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 Amazon.com 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.
Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.