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Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1)—the final major pre-release of Windows Vista—is now available through the Customer Preview Program.
Run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor RC to help get your PC ready for Windows Vista.
Exciting, and the full release is now only a few months off.
Beta testing an OS isn't for everyone. Take the precaution of having a complete system backup that you know you can restore.
The computer that died last week is still under warranty, if they replace it (and don't try to welch on coverage), I'll check for compatibility because a second one could be run on dialup and I wouldn't run into that, so I would give it a try.
I'm not sure they're actually calling it beta testing Bill, because it's available to everyone, which I don't believe it was before.
Be wary of trying Release Candidate software unless you know what you're doing. I would never put that on my main production machines. Try it on a spare machine or run it in a Virtual PC. I do almost all of my OS and software testing in a virtual environment nowadays (VMware).
A recent article on Wired...
I've also been told never to get an operating system with its first release because there are always problems, to wait for the full version of the second release.
How true that can be. I went through it with the last Win98 computer I had; even though their upgrade patch was installed, it was always buggy and troublesome and never would shut down without killing the power until I switched to DSL. The bug was in the dialup networking but apparently didn't get identified to be able to find out. I was first told the only remedy was to buy the full version of Win98 SR2 and do a reinstall, but no way with a computer that comes loaded with an OS, it isn't fair.
Prices of XP computers are coming way down now, and the guy at Staples Saturday said it's been happening for a couple weeks. I guess the manufacturers are gearing up to sell off stock to start selling new ones with Vista installed.
In this case we're looking at a Release Candidate (RC), which is a step in the beta testing process prior to the code's Release to Manufacturing (RTM). It gets confusing.