Pre-Release Vista Versions Set To Expire in May

If you're still using a pre-release version of Windows Vista, you have a little more than a month to upgrade to a commercial version before you start risking data loss.

According to an entry on the Windows Vista Team blog by product manager Nick White, all versions of Windows Vista Beta 2 and release candidates 1 and 2 expire on May 31. After that time, users will have a two-hour window to retrieve data, after which the computer will automatically reboot without the chance to save, resulting in the loss of any stored data.

To emphasize the importance of the deadline, White wrote in boldface, "It is strongly recommended that PC users running any of these pre-release versions of Windows Vista migrate their PCs to the final version of Windows Vista or another operating system prior to 31 May."

Warning notifications will start going out to Vista pre-release users on May 18. The ability to pull the data out of those OSes will be available until August 28, 2007. After that, the Vista pre-release version will simply stop working altogether, with no chance to log on and retrieve data.

Vista beta testers won't get a discount on the commercial version of the OS, but they will be able to save money by buying an upgrade version.

For those who didn't like Vista, any previous Windows OS can be reinstalled on the computer, but there is no roll-back ability. So, for instance, if Windows XP was installed previous to Vista Beta, XP can be reinstalled through a clean install, but a user cannot just return to an earlier, XP-installed state.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at [email protected].