Vista Now Available to Beta 2 Participants

As expected, Microsoft has widened the availability of Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) to users who participated in the Vista Beta 2 testing program last spring.

The availability was announced mid-week on both the Vista Team blog site as well as the Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) site.

"If you previously registered for the Windows Vista Beta 2 Customer Preview Program 2 and received a product key (PID), that key will work for the Windows Vista RC1 release as well. You need not re-register," Vista product manager Nick White said in a posting on the Vista Team blog site Wednesday.

According to the post, Microsoft has begun sending download links via e-mail to previous CPP participants who registered for Beta 2 in June. "Not all e-mails are being sent simultaneously, so there may be a few hours' delay in delivery of yours," White continued.

Additionally, the company has not yet reopened the CPP to new registrations. "If you choose to download RC1 now and weren't part of the Beta 2 CPP in June, you must wait until the CPP is opened to the public before you'll be able acquire a PID that will enable you to install RC1," the post stated. Microsoft will reopen registration for the CPP "in coming weeks," according to statements on the CPP site.

Meanwhile, so far early testers of RC1 are reporting small bugs such as problems with sound cards not functioning propertly, but no so-called "showstoppers."

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.