Following the release Friday of Microsoft Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1), Microsoft Corp. announced plans to make RC1 available for broad customer and partner testing.
With this milestone, Microsoft is also communicating the U.S. estimated retail pricing for all Windows Vista editions. The announcements signal a major step for the technology industry toward the final availability of Windows Vista, currently targeted for volume license customers in November 2006 and general availability in January 2007.
Microsoft first made Windows Vista RC1 available to a small group of technical customers on Friday, Sept. 1, and plans to broadly release the code to current Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP) participants this week. In addition, Microsoft will reopen the CPP, a popular pre-release testing program, to new enrollments in coming days. In total, Microsoft plans to make Windows Vista RC1 available to more than 5 million customers worldwide.
"Now that we're expanding the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program, an even broader audience will get to experience just how much Windows Vista has to offer," said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president for Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. "The expansion of the CPP program really sends a strong message to the industry and our customers: the time to prepare for Windows Vista has arrived."