Vista public testers to get upgrade discounts
Last year, Microsoft made the Beta 2 and Release Candidate 1 builds of Windows Vista available to the public. Many users downloaded the builds, but their licenses are scheduled to expire on May 31. Beyond that date, the Beta 2 and RC1 builds will only let users access their system for two hours at a time. And even those two-hour sessions will end on August 28, at which point the pre-release Vista builds will become effectively useless.
Luckily for those still running those builds, Australian site APC Magazine reports that Microsoft intends to allow public testers to purchase an upgrade version of the retail Windows Vista rather than a full retail copy. That means users who are running Vista Beta 2 or RC1 on one of their PCs can upgrade to, say, Vista Home Premium for $153.99 instead of having to cough up $219.99 for the full retail version. Even Vista Ultimate costs "only" $249.99 for an upgrade, whereas the full version is a hefty $378.99. That's a rather meaty discount, and it might incite users unimpressed by the pre-release Vista versions to stick with the OS rather than going back to XP.