Vista is ready for download

If you have an MSDN or TechNet Plus subscription, you can go download your copy of the final version of Windows Vista x86 (and get the product keys to go with it) right now, a day earlier than expected.

If you’re an official beta tester and you filed at least one bug, you’ll get a copy too. Go to Connect (the official beta testers’ website), where you’ll find downloadable images of the x86 and x64 code and an agreement that you’ll need to electronically sign to get your choice of Vista Ultimate or Business.

(Thanks to Josh at Windows Connected for the heads-up on the MSDN release.)

… And the x64 versions are now available as well on TechNet and (presumably) MSDN.

… Some confusion about who’s an official beta tester. If you were invited to the beta test (a long time ago), your Passport account would have been given access to Microsoft’s Connect website and to private beta tester newsgroups. If you log on to Connect and check the My Participation page, you’ll see “Windows Vista, Longhorn Server, and IE7 Beta” in the list, with a status of Active. If you don’t see that, you were not an invited beta tester, you were a member of the Customer Preview Program (CPP), and you do not qualify for a free copy.

Also, “submitting a bug” does not mean posting about it on a newsgroup or bulletin board. It means submitting a detailed bug report using the Microsoft Bug Reporting tool. Again, if you’re an official beta tester you can see a list of all bugs you submitted by logging on via Connect and clicking the Feedback link in the left column. Bugs you submitted appear in the Posted By Me section.

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7 thoughts on “Vista is ready for download

  1. Ed, can we expect a review of the product from you now that the final version is out and all the NDAs and what nots have surely expired ?

  2. Here’s the question, which I think almost–but not quite–came up in a prior thread.

    If subscribers to TechNet and MSDN get the full version now, what keeps someone from subscribing to TechNet now at $349 and getting an early, and cheaper, copy of Vista?

    I understand the license terms require that subscribers “may use the evaluation software only to evaluate it,” but that’s extraordinarily vague. Let’s say someone has his own website, or could easily go out and get one. Would simply posting periodic reviews of how things are going, problems that have come up, issues with updates, that sort of thing be enough to comply with the license? It certainly could be read that way.

    I also don’t see anything that specifically requires the software be uninstalled if the TechNet subscription lapses, and I doubt that would be in the Vista EULA (though I haven’t read it as carefully as the TechNet). The argument would be that letting it lapse removes the TechNet EULA, thus any software licensed through it, but it’s not obvious from the EULA. Maybe there’s some case law out there that sheds some light on it, but I’m not going to spend too much time trying to find it.

    Then there’s the enforcement problem. There are some obvious problems for MS there, even if we read the licenses at their most restrictive.

    So, save $50 on Vista Ultimate, get it now instead of two and a half months from now, get a bunch of other goodies in the process, the why don’t more enthusiasts go that route? It’s something I would consider if my school didn’t provide students licenses for Windows (and Office) for free.

  3. Mackenzie,
    You obviously have no faith in Microsoft’s anti-piracy safeguards. If they do what they say they can do, expect to have your cheap, early version suddenly require you to call the Microsoft tech group to validate your copy.

    Before you install, I HIGHLY recommend reading through the new EULA; shocking how locked down they wanna make it.

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