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September 5, 2006

Microsoft releases Vista pricing and pushes Customer Preview Program

Posted by David Hunter at 11:23 AM ET.

Following last week’s release of Release Candidate 1 of Windows Vista to selected testers, Microsoft has thrown the doors open with a Customer Preview Program (CPP) and also calmed the speculation over Vista pricing. Press release:

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.

Microsoft is broadening the scope of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program, which began last quarter with the release of Windows Vista Beta 2. The CPP enables developers and IT professionals who do not have access to Windows Vista RC1 through other channels to obtain the code and begin testing. Also as part of the CPP, technology enthusiasts are able to obtain pre-release code and begin testing the various consumer scenarios Windows Vista enables. Current CPP participants are scheduled to have access to the RC1 code beginning this week, and Microsoft will be opening the CPP program to new participants in the following days. Microsoft will post RC1 to its MSDNĀ® and TechNet Web sites for subscriber download, and is working with publishers in various markets around the world to distribute RC1 DVDs to readers of a number of technology publications.

Not unexpectedly, Microsoft is pushing partners to test up a storm and ISVs to make sure their applications will run on Vista or even better get the “Certified for Windows Vista” logo that we have mentioned previously.

As for the pricing, all the details are now embedded in the Vista product pages, and it’s only very slightly different from what Amazon had posted, but here’s a table:

Vista Edition









Home Premium



Home Basic



There’s no official word on availability or on the “Additional License” prices that Amazon posted.

Filed under Beta and CTP, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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One Response to “Microsoft releases Vista pricing and pushes Customer Preview Program”

  1. Vista coupon rumors redux -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Vista discount coupon rumors seem to keep popping up, and on Monday, Digitimes had the latest provided by the Chinese-language Apple Daily: Microsoft has informed PC makers that free upgrades to Vista will only be available for MCE (Media Center Edition – ed.) users, the paper said. For Windows XP users, upgrading to the entry-level version of Vista will cost US$116, while upgrading to the premium version will cost US$269, noted the paper. The cost may affect PC demand through the first quarter of next year, PC makers were quoted by the paper as saying. Aside from the uncertain provenance, one wonders if there is a localization disconnect since the upgrade prices for XP Home users are more than standard retail and there’s another line in the article about MCE being only 10% of new PC Sales in the 4th quarter which seems unlikely in the USA. However, there’s a germ of a good idea here – Microsoft providing “like to like” free Vista upgrades for the various versions of XP before Vista is available. Nathan Weinberg provides a modest proposal in that regard and mentions some cons associated with it too. The biggest one I see is that sticking XP Home users with Vista Home Basic which lacks the fancy Aero “user experience” would seem to be an unpopular move. [...]

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