Clarification on Availability of the Windows Vista RC1 Customer Preview Program

Some sites out in the community have begun posting links to the Customer Preview Program (CPP) download of Windows Vista RC1.  Before you jump up to get your own download of RC1, please bear in mind these facts:

If you previously registered for the Windows Vista Beta 2 Customer Preview Program 2 and received a product key (PID), that key will work for the Windows Vista RC1 release as well.  You need not re-register; you will need to download the RC1 ISO image, however.  Microsoft has just today begun sending download links via email to previous Customer Preview Program participants who registered for Windows Vista Beta 2 back in June.  Not all emails are being sent simultaneously, so there may be a few hours' delay in delivery of yours.

The Customer Preview Program has yet to open back up for new registrants.  Therefore, if you do not already have a PID and were not part of June's Beta 2 CPP, you will need to wait until the CPP opens to the public in order to register for a PID and install RC1.  I expect that this will occur in the very near future, so keep watching this blog.

In other words:  if you choose to download RC1 now and weren’t part of the Beta 2 CPP in June, you must wait until the CPP is opened to the public before you'll be able acquire a PID that will enable you to install RC1.

Please be mindful of the above when making your decision to download.  I must confess that while I and everyone on the team certainly appreciate your enthusiasm for downloading, registering and testing RC1, posting comments to this or any other MS blog asking for product keys won’t get them to you any faster.  There's nothing I can do to accelerate the public availability of RC1; but, I can keep you informed, and pledge to do exactly that.

So, once the RC1 Customer Preview Program officially opens up to new registrations, you can expect a post here letting you know.  Thanks for your patience in the interim 🙂

Comments (42)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft has released Windows Vista Release Candidate 1. Anyone can download it from here, but you’ll need one of the product keys issued during the Beta 2 Customer Preview Program to install it. The Preview Program will reopen "in the…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Vista RC1 Reaction Roundup

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can now download the RC1 build 5600 of Windows Vista . However, to install it you need to have

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nick posted a clarification on the Windows Vista team blog about the availability of RC1. Many (many!)users

  5. qajohnston says:

    I am in the CPP that started in June. Will the cdkey be emailed with the download for RC1 because I sure some people have probably deleted there email with the beta 2 key. I know I did.

  6. mgb1unc says:

    Yes, your key should be in the email you will receive.  However, you can go ahead and download it now, and install it.  It will install without a key and work for 14 days. If you install without a key it will ask you which version you want to install- Ultimate, of course.  Then, when you receive your email- enter your key.  Your key tells the OS which version it should be.  The keys are Ultimate versions.

    Or, if you still have Beta2 installed, you can recover your key by using one of these two programs.  I prefer the first one, SIW.  Either one will tell you your key.  In SIW,

    look under Software/Secrets.

  7. Nitz says:

    Hm. I’ve been a part of the CPP since June, and I’ve got my key and such, but I cant’ seem to find a download link to RC1 on the Windows Vista site. It says refer to a recent email, which I did not recieve. Am I the only one who missed this?

    Thanks for the clarification too!

  8. saxdaddy says:

    >Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:19 PM by Nitz

    >Hm. I’ve been a part of the CPP since June,

    >and I’ve got my key and such, but I cant’ seem

    >to find a download link to RC1 on the Windows

    >Vista site. It says refer to a recent email,

    >which I did not recieve. Am I the only one who

    >missed this?

    Same here!  Checked my spam filter and it’s not there either.  Any hope of being offered up a download link to RC1?  We’re anxious to test it.  TIA.

  9. pwalkin says:

    Any idea when RC1 will be posted to MSDN or TechNet subscribers?

    – Paul [113506]

  10. Ambious says:

    Well, I downloaded RC1, installed and started using it, and it’s great – except – where is Mobile Device Center? My PocketPC hasn’t been synchronized in ages, since I started using Vista as my main OS. I’ve been missing appointments all around the place 😛

    I have an Ipaq rx3715 (with Windows Mobile 2003 SE), and while it never worked with Mobile Device Center before, I was hoping that by RC1 it could finally work – but alas…… it doesn’t.

    Dear Vista Team – any idea when can we expect to see the Mobile Device Center in action, and how will we be able to get it?

  11. says:

    I’ve been in Beta 2 since June.. im using build 5384 right now.. I’ve never been given the chance to update.

    I’ve chosen to use this as my primary OS.. and im getting Blue Screens like crazy with this buildm I really need to update!

    I have recieved no email whatsoever.. this is starting to get frusterating! I’ve tried to download from this link: , but IE7 is not letting me download from Akamai and I’ve tried downloading direct to my browser, which it says I need an email which I have not recieved.

    Please help! Build 5384 is horrible and I need a update!

  12. mgb1unc says:

    If you have Firefox use it to download Vista.  Amazingly, for those having trouble using IE7, Firefox does the trick

  13. anony.muos says:

    Does Avalon support all audio-video formats supported by DirectShow? or only WMV, MPEG and some AVIs as some Avalon bloggers are saying?

  14. Albert_S says:

    Windows Mobile Device Center worked perfectly under Beta 2 (at least for me) but it doesn’t even start under RC1 (German).

    Is there any way to get synchronisation between Outlook and my cell-phone to work under RC1?

    Will there be any update?

    THX a lot!

  15. Sidebar Geek says:

    A update for Windows Vista RC1 should go out that will enable the use of Windows Mobile Device Center again. Not sure when this will occur. Don’t worry, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about all us Windows Mobile users!

    For those folks in the above comments who were in the CPP for Beta 2 asking where their email is for download of RC1 and PID’s – please read Nick’s post carefully! "Not all emails are being sent simultaneously, so there may be a few hours’ delay in delivery of yours."

    They are staggering the emails so not everyone in the CPP is downloading all at once.

  16. Daenks says:

    It seems quite silly that i wasted all the time to download, burn, and install Windows Vista pre-RC1 (Build 5536) last week:

    RC1 has been declared complete before any of my 20+ bug/issue reports could have been looked at, let alone fixed. And unlike my experiences during the Beta 2 period, none of the issues i have found have been solved via MS connect, nor the Vista Solutions Center. Not to mention that my installation of 5536 destroyed my WinXP installation (from a separate physical hard disk, nonetheless).

    I honestly appreciate the oppertunity to help, but I’m becoming irate at the sudden lack of intrest in my feedback. It seems that this time, Microsoft has jsut released a partially finished build, just to declare that they are on schedule.

    Sometimes i’d just like to talk with a lead developer on the phone for just an hour to point out some things i’ve found, and give my point of view on certain aspects of the next stage of the Windows Revolution.

    Daniel Stone

  17. Ambious says:

    Thank you for clarifying that up regarding mobile device center, it’s nice to know that somebody’s listening to us and taking care of us.


  18. Alaska says:

    I received the CD for beta 2…. will I get the CD for RC1 also?

  19. kentore says:

    So how long do we have to wait for that email? I downloaded Beta 2 and joined the CPP. While trying to download RC1 i was referred to a page saying that the download was for CPP members only (!), so I was assuming that there were some special information in the said email. But according to information posted above and elsewhere that is not entirely clear.

    I guess I just have to employ my non-existent patience 🙂

  20. technogran says:

    I have downloaded Vista RC1, thanks Nick, have installed the Home Premium addition, it did not ask me for a key, and have registered it with Microsoft, so how long will I be able to keep  this version. (Don’t want to upgrade to Ultimate Edition, as last time (June) kept telling me I needed Video Controller updating!!

    Thanks again Nick

  21. FinalDragoon06 says:

    @ Alaska: It’s a DVD, not a CD (Sorry, I’m nitpicking!) But I too would like to know what’s going on with us users who ordered the Beta 2 DVD Kit. Are we going to recieve RC1 automatically, or are we going to have to order it again? If we do indeed have to order it again, where is a link to do so?

    Good to know about the Mobile stuff too. I have no use for it, but it seems to be a big deal with everyone else!

  22. kroeze8_29 says:

    I downloaded and tried to install the RC1 but during the installation I got a message that the file install.wim is either corrupted or missing! What will I have to do to get it to work?

  23. williamwaterboy says:

    My AVG anti-virus dosen’t seam to want to work right… the taskbar icon won’t show up and I can’t lanch the control center. It was working fine in Beta 2 also I can’t install macromidea 9.0. There are some inprovements and the speed at which the RC1 runs is much better then Beta2 but there are lost of porblems and seeing software not work that did in the beta2 is just dishearting.

  24. ae6dx says:

    I requested the Beta 2 on DVD.  Will this RC1 build be sent to me on CD/DVD as well?  Or must I download it?  So far I have not gotten any email about this.

  25. KZOOKIDD says:

    Everyone know when the CCP program will open, I have a friend interested.  I was hoping for something over than a couple of weeks (Not that acouple of weeks is to far just to broad).

  26. hklm says:

    I was wondering about these 2 strange phemonswith incorrect statements promulgated by MSFT on their "get Vista RC1" site.

    If you click the link for the CPP you see this concerning Office 2007 and RC1 and both statments are flat wrong:

    The first on compatibility alleges that on Vista RC1 Office will only run if you have the Beta 2 TR (Technical Refresh). That’s simply ridiculous. Office runs fine on every Beta build of Vista since it hit the delivery room.

    This is confusing a lot of people we have to help on the groups Nick, and if you noticed, I’ve never seen so much problem for some of these people simply burning a CD and running setup in the history of MSFT.

    This is patently false information on the MSFT site.

    1) 2007 Office System Beta 2 compatibility

    If you are using 2007 Office system Beta 2 be sure to download the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh, the most recent update. (The Technical Refresh is required to use Office Beta 2 with Windows Vista RC1.)

    2) The link which MSFT gives people with the expectation of downloading the Office Beta 2 refresh which they don’t need for running Office 2007 on RC1 or any other build of Vista past and future, is a blind alley. Nothing like the Beta 2 refresh is up. This is one of many MSFT broken tailights where one individual on the Redmond campus either didn’t communicate with others or at times gets ticked and puts something up to vex their collegues and MSFT customers.  

    Can you get this fixed Nick?  And please tell Office not to promulgate Vista fiction.  There is enough intimidation from your campus over false hardware mandates from the Vista Upgrade advisor.  I have multiple screenshots on boxes where it has told people they need xyz to run Vista and that’s just fiction.  I can only conclude you all are doing it to intimidate gullible customers into buying OEM hardware because Scott di Valario your accountant OEM VP (no IT in his background at all) got a 20% increase in sales of OEM last quarter and there was a 20% decrease in retail sales.  MSFT wants to stimulate OEM sales by intimidating customers into needing hardwware they don’t need.

    When I run the upgrade advisor, it says I need a new IDE controller FALSE, that I need a new VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 controller FALSE and that I need a new sound card FALSE.

    Althoug Vista badly needs every bit of 6 months of work that the Steve Sinofsky run the trains on time ethos even when they are way off the track won’t give it, and because you all are afraid of making any more licensing revisions, I can run boxes very well and very fast with hardware your upgrade advisor says will not work.

    We’re not even talking optimal running here. I’m running it with optimal speed and stability.  We’re talking pure fiction promulgated by the Upgrade Advisor. I’d love to show it to the PMs and team that birthed that puppy, if only you would tell me how to reach them and what non-intuitive team name they are going by.

    They should stop trying to fool the public with ficitional hardware requirements and you can’t proffer cognitive dissonance that they mean "optimal". It won’t fly.

    Please let us know if you can get this misleading info corrected.



  27. hklm says:

    I meant to include the link Nick.

    The link is:

    Get Ready: Windows Vista Customer Preview Program

    Where in the world and from whom did this fiction come from posted on the MSFT Get Vista RC1 site?

    "2007 Office System Beta 2 compatibility

    If you are using 2007 Office system Beta 2 be sure to download the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh, the most recent update. (The Technical Refresh is required to use Office Beta 2 with Windows Vista RC1.)"

    Are there individuals on the Vista teams who believe this or on the Office teams are both?

    Also the link to the Office web site for obtaining the Beta 2 Tech refresh does not have it on the site.


  28. Golden says:

    Is there a problem with the RC1 Install?  I downloaded the ISO and made a DVD.  I Attempted to install RC1 in VirtualPC 2004 SP1. Just after entering the Product Code, I get the following error: “Windows can not open the required file D:SourcesInstall.wim. The file may be corrupt or missing.” What do I do now?

  29. nwhite says:

    Please do not post product keys on this blog or any other public site or forum.

  30. nwhite says:

    Hey everyone:  as I’ve stated before, the CPP is *not yet* available for public consumption, but will be shortly, so keep an eye on this blog for news of it.

    As far as the RC1-compatible version of Office, that will be available *very soon*, so keep checking their site.

  31. bigfatlexusman says:

    What can one do if they registerd for and downloaded beta 2 but never installed it and like a dummy accidently deleted the key, can one be resent to the individual or will I have to wait until released to the public

  32. hklm says:

    You don’t get it Nick. There is no such thing as Office 2007 that is not RC1 compatible.  How and why that misleading info got on the site is pathognomonic of some of the Vista dissaray as you all rush to put a half finished product out so you can exchange it for your customers’ money.

    Office 2007 works fine with Office.  The Upgrade Advisor tries to cow and intimidate people into buying OEM hardware they don’t need so that MSFT can sell more OEM preinstalled Vistas that won’t allow them to repair Vista.

    Why is it that when you get feedback from people who know Windows and care enough to test what you want tried, the arrogance in the water on the Redmond campus compells you to ignore the feedback and push ahead anyway.

    Is there a problem with the English that conveys to you that you are telling people that Office 2007 needs an update to work with RC1 and that’s false.  Have you actually tried Office RC1 on your daily builds and found it won’t work. I’m offering to provide tech support to you and whomever is posting that on the Vista website so that you can get it working.

    Also why do you proffer an Upgrade Advisor that tells people a panoply of hardware won’t work in Vista when in fact it works like a charm if not to try to take advantage of their gullibiilty and intimidate them into buying new OEM boxes that they might not need?


  33. Alaska says:

    Let me better explain myself to nwithe.  I paid and order the DVD for Beta 2.  It said in the box it came, that I will get a copy of RC1 when it became available.

    Question to Mr. White, when are they going to ship the rc1 DVD to folks like us that already paid for Beta 2 ?

    I love to hear that it is in the mail, that way I could be playing with RC1 this weekend.

    Thank you Microsoft anyway……

  34. nwhite says:

    Hey ae6dx:  you shoud have gotten an email about the RC1 DVD by now, but if not, you can always go to the link on my RC1 post to either download it or request the DVD.

  35. nwhite says:

    Hey Alaska:  you should automatically receive an email prompting you to go to the registration site to request the RC1 DVD, but if not, you can always go to the link on my RC1 post to request the DVD.

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