Microsoft Corp. has begun reminding millions of testers of Windows Vista's beta and release candidate (RC) previews that their trial runs end on June 1. Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's antipiracy efforts, became the first company executive to note the impending deadline. "As a reminder to those that helped with Windows Vista beta testing, the beta installations are set to expire at the end of May 2007," said Hartje in a Q&A that Microsoft posted March 30 on its public relations Web site. "So customers need to decide if they want to move to Windows Vista or back to Windows XP if they have test versions of Windows Vista on their PCs."
Details on how best to do that, however, are scant. Despite repeated requests to clarify the exact procedure beta and RC users need to take -- and whether Microsoft will provide either guidance or offer a discount to testers -- the company declined to spell out its plans. What information the company has published is on last year's Customer Preview Program (CPP) site, which points to the June 1 expiration date and explains that once installed, the Vista previews don't allow for operating system rollbacks. "You cannot roll back to the previous operating system installation -- you will either have to acquire and install the final released edition of Windows Vista or reinstall a previous edition of Windows," the site reads