Vista trial goes public

Microsoft today released the ‘Beta 2’ (trial) version of its next-generation desktop PC operating system (OS), ‘Windows Vista’, to the general public. However while DVD versions are available to users in other territories by post, no details are available yet about similar disc-based versions being offered to Middle East users.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  June 8, 2006

Microsoft today released the ‘Beta 2’ (trial) version of its next-generation desktop PC operating system (OS), ‘Windows Vista’, to the general public. However while DVD versions are available to users in other territories by post, no details are available yet about similar disc-based versions being offered to Middle East users. After months of testing by only registered MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and TechNet subscribers, consumers and tech-users can download the trial OS from the Windows Vista section of Microsoft’s website (here). Six forms of the desktop OS have been made available; both x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) versions in English, German and Japanese respectively. The total download size of the 32-bit versions is 3.5 gigabytes. As a rough guide, using the slowest form of DSL net connection – 256Kbps – it will take approximately 54 hours to download this ISO file, or 64 hours for the 4.4Gbyte 64-bit version). On the pre-download page of its website – entitled Windows Vista ‘Get Ready’ – Microsoft is at pains to point out that its Beta 2 offering is not aimed at consumers. The page reads: “This is beta code and should not be used in a production environment or on a main machine in the home. Beta 2 is intended for developers, IT professionals and technology experts to continue or begin their testing of Windows Vista.” The firm also adds some very sensible advice, which is that users trying out Vista Beta 2 should be comfortable with installing operating systems, updating drivers, and general PC troubleshooting. In addition to today’s widening of its Vista beta program, Microsoft also recently released a public, trial Beta 2 version of its next-generation Office software system, Office 2007. (This 440Mbyte download is available from here). A Microsoft spokesperson told Windows today that a CD version of this trial version of Office 2007 should soon be available from Microsoft’s Middle East site (at www.microsoft.com/middleeast), possibly before the end of this month. However, they had no details regarding when Vista Beta 2 might be available to Middle East users on DVD (as it is in some other territories such as the US).

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