Vista now available to developers

Summary:It's not even November 30 (or January 30) yet. But Microsoft has made Windows Vista available for download to a substantial pool of individuals via the Microsoft Developer Network, TechNet Plus and Microsoft Connect.

It's not even November 30 (or January 30) yet. But Microsoft has made Windows Vista available to a substantial pool of individuals via the Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet.

As of November 16, Microsoft made the final version of Vista available to all MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. The company also made the final bits available for download for free via the Microsoft Connect site to thousands of Vista beta testers who submitted one or more bug reports.

MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers are free to download the universal DVD image, Windows expert Ed Bott explained to me, and can install in evaluation mode any Vista version. In order to activate, however (within the 30 day grace period), downloaders need the appropriate product keys. 

Microsoft also has made available for download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK), which is a set of installation tools similar to the ones Microsoft traditionally has made available to PC makers (via the OEM Preinstallation Kit) to enable customers to deploy Vista more quickly, easily and modularly across multiple machines.

November 30 is still the official business launch for Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. And January 30 is the date upon which Microsoft will allow PC makers and retail outlets to begin selling Vista and Office 2007.

To all the people who've said that it's irrelevant that the Zune, PowerShell and other Microsoft products don't yet work with the final Vista bits because no one has them yet, I say I beg to differ. The people who are most likely to rush to download Vista are the same ones who are likely to be the early adopters (and potentially biggest advocates) of new technologies like Zune and PowerShell.

Topics: Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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