The expiration date draws near for some editions of Windows Vista. Although the latest operating system from Microsoft has only hit the shelves a little over two months ago on January 30, 2007, the testing versions of Windows Vista are running their last mile. Microsoft was extremely generous in handing out copies of Windows Vista to testers. The Redmond Company has shipped millions of beta and RC1 releases of Vista.
However, behind Microsoft's forefront of generosity lies the corporate agenda. Microsoft accessed a multi-million pool of testers in its efforts to perfect the operating system, and in change, it allowed those involved in the testing process to have a run at the operating system.
Still, Microsoft's prominent generosity with Windows Vista comes in a small portion. The testing editions of the operating system are all-time bombed. "Time-limited software - Windows Vista RC1 is time-limited, pre-release software that will expire on June 1, 2007," reads an excerpt of the information delivered by Microsoft as part of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program.
At the end of March 2007, Cori Hartje, director of the Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative reminded the Vista testers that the expiration date is closing in. "As a reminder to those that helped with Windows Vista beta testing, the beta installations are set to expire at the end of May 2007. So customers need to decide if they want to move to Windows Vista or back to Windows XP if they have test versions of Windows Vista on their PCs," she said.
Testers will not be able to upgrade the RC1 release of the operating system to the RTM Windows Vista. Microsoft's upgrade paths for Windows Vista make absolutely no reference to the testing editions. Upgrades can only be performed from Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Additionally, Vista also doesn't permit users to roll back to the previous operating system installed. One final twist is the fact that the RC1build is considered a testing version of Windows Vista Ultimate, so testers are forced to purchase a full edition of Windows Vista in order to perform an in-place upgrade.
As far as the final versions of Vista are concerned, users will be able to enjoy mainstream support until 4/10/2012.