Friday, October 28, 2016
  • Home

MSBLOG Exclusive: Windows Vista testers get free copy of RTM

November 16th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker


Not everyone saw it coming… nothing came in Office 2007 for testers but Vista was always a hell of a lot bigger than Office 2007. Windows Vista released to manufacturing last week, and MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers could get it… and those with Volume Licensing access… and now fellow testers can!

If you’re a Vista tester, Windows Vista Business (by default, Ultimate if you ask for it) is yours – check your email account associated with your Connect profile. If you qualify (if, that is) then you’ll get a free copy in form of a unique Connect invitation to a new sub-page with the build on. You must have submitted one bug at least to get a free copy and be on the technical beta.

You can activate the copy of Vista unlimited times on one machine (not entirely sure how the licensing thing works, just going off internal sources). Anyway, those who have contributes certainly deserve it – enjoy your reward :)

Update: Due to the load from Connect, MSDN, TechNet, etc. the X64 images have been removed.  If you have already begun a download, you will be able to finish, but no new X64 downloads will be permitted until the load has lessened. Additionally, the Vista team will be intermittently stopping new downloads for periods of time when the servers reach capacity. 

On a side note: Remember the last time that the Connect servers were having this much trouble at the Beta 2 Launch? Well, the connect sercers are currently seeing ~2.5x the traffic that we did for Beta 2.  No wonder Connect is suffering. :-)

Posted in Beta News, Windows Vista | 90 Comments »

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 16th, 2006 at 11:50 pm and is filed under Beta News, Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

90 Responses

  1. azz0r Says:

    I havent recieved an email :(

  2. Zack Whittaker Says:

    Wendy sent out the emails at around 6:40 her time – she’s set the server to mass mail hundreds of thousands of people. It’s gonna take time :)

  3. Jason Cox Says:

    For once I’m getting 500kbs off the US servers and dont have to steal bandwidth from the European servers. Today is a good day.

  4. Bryan Says:

    I wasn’t part of the beta through Connect, but I was part of the CPP… do CPP testers get it too?

  5. El Ddaz : Windows Vista RTM para Beta Tester Says:

    […] fuente:  Publicado Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:20 PM por David Daniel Arroyo Zari "Ddaz" […]

  6. Patrick S Says:

    This is for people in the technical beta-if you submitted more than 1 bug!

  7. Windows Admin Tools Says:

    Very cool. I would imagine it is a very small number of people who actually submit bug reports. After this gets out I would imagine that people will submit them much more often.

  8. Patrick S Says:

    Agreed… Its the same old story… put in the hard work and then ya get the rewards! 😀

  9. dragon Says:

    I havent recieved an email :I was a non-technical tester but no bug by me

  10. Nori Chan Says:

    Hmm…I’ve received this mail but the bug I’ve submitted is for Longhorn server.. so not sure if I can really eligible for it..

  11. Patrick S Says:

    Yeah if u recieved the mail u will be… great going

  12. Patrick Elliott [MS] Says:

    Nori – what build / when did you file your bug? I will check in our database and let you know

  13. Florian Says:

    Is it for all the testers? Read on digg that it’s only for tech beta testers – I submitted 2 or 3 bugs, but I was only in the public beta programme.

  14. Rick Says:

    I submitted a few bugs, but no email. (except the latest technet flash)

  15. Nori Chan Says:

    Patrick Elliott- Build 5384 of LH Server, the date I posted the bug is 7/10/2006.
    When I was going to check these details for you, I’ve accepted the agreement, and the link is available for me now.

  16. Rob Guthrie Says:

    I did’nt receive an email. I was build 5384 also. I am not sure what date I posted the bug(s). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  17. Linus Askerlund Says:

    I’m overjoyed to hear this, even if I only was in the CPP this is good news for me. Even if I don’t get a license I still feel appreciated and like I made a difference that mattered. Sad to miss out on such a thing thought…

    One of the most extreme bugs I submitted was a bug in RC2 where the graphics seemed to crash with my X1600XT graphics card due to a bug in the graphics handling. I cant remember the exact filename of the file that made the mess but it was fun finding it, even if this did put me back to use RC1 again. Actually it would be cool to get the full version just to see if that bug got fixed.

  18. Rick Says:

    How about people who tested but didn’t encounter any bugs? I ran RC1 and RC2 almost full-time, and didn’t run into anything worthy of reporting (I had crashes, but they were always traced back to my own buggy software, not Vista)

  19. Fragger Says:

    Yeah I installed that RTM version and within one day i had it in an infinite loop of blue-screening. It gave me a cannot install message for daemon tools (among like 10 other programs I tried to install) then I tried alcohol 120% and it as it was installing, it blue-screened, restarted itsself came back on… rinse and repeat! I had to reformat after like 12 hours. (I installed Ultimate)

  20. WP Cheah Says:

    I am Vista tester ,I found the great bug for IE7, but I only summit bug at IE7 feedback place ,Can I send mail to Vista Beta Team to offer me to get this RTM copy?

  21. Fragger Says:

    I don’t know why you guys want this thing so bad. I find it to be terrible. There are like no features worth upgrading for, it still doesn’t look as pretty as the mac stuff, I can’t install like half of my software(including my network storage drive). And it turned my sweet really fast desktop into a lagbox. Networking…..I can only put files into the default public folder from my laptop, not vice versa, what a disaster.

  22. Kurt Says:

    So do public beta testers qualify for this? I submitted an IE7 bug through the Vista bug reporting software in RC2. Haven’t gotten an email yet.

  23. MARIOBS Says:


  24. MARIOBS Says:


  25. gerry normandin Says:

    I beta tested and submitted bugs, but did not yet receive an email, am I eligible as well?

  26. AVI Says:

    I sent an automatic bug report when windows asked me. I also got vista from the link on the vista home site. Do i get a copy? :)

  27. teenk Says:

    So this is for MSDN members and such only right? Not for public testers (those that had to use their hotmail email)? Man that’s a bummer. O well, I’m buying it anyway.

  28. Beta Tester Public Says:

    I was a beta ( public tester too and then tested the beta 2 then the RC1 & RC 2 the bugs the I did find were already posted so thought why double post. So in another words I didn’t post anything as there was no need to. Am I still elgible for the RTM? I was late in the game as well so that’s why I saw the bugs ahead of time. I’m a full time student so this would be a great budget for me.

  29. » Blog Archive » Une récompense pour les testeurs de Windows Vista Says:

    […] Zack Whittaker a publié sur MSBLOG une nouvelle qui en a surpris plus d’un: Si vous faites partie du beta-test technique de Microsoft Windows Vista et que vous avez envoyé au moins un rapport de bug, une copie gratuite de Windows Vista Business (Ultimate) vous attend!  Une façon formidable de récompenser l’effort de plusieurs pour améliorer la stabilité du nouveau système d’explotation de Microsoft, et certainement très innatendue! Technologie […]

  30. Aaron Krill Says:

    I was a tester but the only times i submitted any bugs was through the built-in bug submitter. Does this count?

  31. Moshpit Says:

    I’ve been a beta tester since 5384 also. I submitted several bug reports. I’ve recieved no email about my free copy :(

    I’ve been a really loyal tester too and submitted quite a few bugs early on, tho later builds were pretty bug free for me. The only question I have tho is the bug reports were usually about incompatabilities with 3rd party hardware/software.

  32. Brandon Bianchi Says:

    I submitted bugs that but there was also a few emails driect to Paul Donnelly. However the email may have gone to an account I cant access…

  33. ShadowDragon Says:

    So those of us public testers who submitted bugs are out in the cold? I at least hope my UI bug was fixed for RTM, it wasn’t fixed in Beta 2. :(

  34. Mrbee Says:

    =/ … I dont like this … I’ve submitted many bugs, and I’ve tested MS beta products for a little while now … I publicly tested Vista in the RC’s and submitted bugs for Live messenger beta in vista as well as some good ones in Media Center Where it would crash my new laptop when watching DVD’s in RC1 …. its pretty lame to be discluded from the free vista… especially when u put hard work into finding bugs…

  35. ShadowDragon Says:

    Ooops, yeah I meant RC2 not Beta2, man I need more sleep. I really hope it was fixed in RTM because switching off Aero to arrange menus on the taskbar so half an icon doesn’t show up, then turning it back on is quite annoying.

  36. Mobile 360 Says:

    I think microsoft is getting kinder.

  37. walter david kradin Says:

    I spent twelve hours with Microsoft Tech Support attempting to correct bugs in the Vista RC-1 I was testing. I reported to them that you could not reboot via the computer switch without seeing a power interuption failure and a need to click on “start normal” , “last known good start’ , etc. I noted a total failure to clean install on two AMD dual core Nvidia chip-set computers with no problems on Intel based boards with P4 CPU’s. I believe I deserve a free version of the shipping version of Vista – I spent hours with your people on these bug problems – albeit to noavail. There is a record of the extensive amount of time spent on this. Thank you. WDK

  38. Zach Heise Says:

    I’ve been using the betas for several months now, I did use the “report an error” shortcut on the desktop a couple times to report a memory-related issue (that sadly still hasn’t been fixed in the latest version that I have, RC2).

    The copy of free Vista Ultimate sounds incredible, too good to be true almost! I was just wondering how Microsoft kept track of who was submitting what. Just by using that built-in bug reporter tool, was that all I needed to do to qualify for this program?

  39. Zach Heise Says:

    Mmmm…I just read through ALL of the posts here, and I guess I’ll understand if I don’t warrant a free copy, since I did only submit three bugs I think (although they were pretty big; all continuous crash BSoD errors).

    At least my business is part of the VL program, so I’ll get to see enterprise on the 30th regardless. :)

  40. Chris Says:

    — As of 11/18 at 12:06 EST both Vista builds seemed to be pulled of MSDN for the time being. I clicked the MSDN USERS CAN DOWNLOAD VISTA/ OFFICE 2007 link and only OFFICE 2007 files are up. Browsing under OS’ there are NO listings for VISTA.


  41. Wurmy Says:

    So lame, I may have been able to find and submit bugs except that all I could ever manage was a BSOD. After about an hour of trying to figure it out, I gave up assuming that it was due to invalid raid drivers……

  42. Alex Says:

    I been testing since 5384 all the way through rc2 and havent gotten no email what do i need to do??? I reported many bugs from creative drivers causing bluescreens to to Azureus crapping out. Is there anyway to contact them.

  43. Bill Says:

    The best one was the MSDN site cancelling my subscription a two months early just after midnight. The bits came down but the product keys didn’t generate and MSDN customer service played the “we don’t have keys yet” card.

    I guess I’ll go reinstall DOS.

  44. geo Says:

    public tester and i only had one bug ,sent it with automatic bug report when windows asked me.does that count?

  45. Dan Says:

    I was on the public beta pretty much as soon as it came out, and I filed a bug about the the way the installer handled sata drivers, and I’ve not yet recieved an e-mail.. Must be for tech beta people only :(

  46. Mike D Says:

    i haven’t received an email either!

  47. Jon Says:

    I sent 2 bug reports and have not recieved an email, what can i do?

  48. Patrick S Says:

    Ask in the NG’s or email the Vista team (i suspect they are getting sick of people asking but give it a try anyway) Also include in the email the ID numbers of the Bugs you submitted (you can see this on Connect under Feedback)

  49. Gene Vantreese Says:

    well …I hope i get one ,but i think you had to be a PAID Member
    of MSDN to be in the technical beta…and thats over $1000.00
    for a subscription. so a lot cheaper to goto the store or an OEM copy

  50. Prime News Blog » Blog Archive » Windows Vista testers get free copy of RTM Says:

    […] Those in the vista technical beta (and who have submitted one bug or more) will be elegiable to download either Windows Vista ultimate or business editions. You ’ll get a free copy in form of a unique Connect invitation to a new sub-page with the build on. What a great thank-you present from MSFT!read more | digg story […]

  51. Artur Says:

    Hi, how can I get free copy of Vista ? Could you give me a link to download or something else ?

  52. Artur Says:

    How can I get free copy of Vista to test it ?

  53. Adam Says:

    I called in and submited a several mistakes but I have’t recieved my email either :/ Anyone have anyguess what we shoud do about this?

  54. Patrick S Says:

    well …I hope i get one ,but i think you had to be a PAID Member
    of MSDN to be in the technical beta…and thats over $1000.00
    for a subscription. so a lot cheaper to goto the store or an OEM copy
    Err no? Be be in the technical beta you had to be invited to beta test by Microsoft! MSDN is a completely seperate thing!

    I called in and submited a several mistakes but I have’t recieved my email either :/ Anyone have anyguess what we shoud do about this?
    As i said above: Ask in the NG’s or email the Vista team (i suspect they are getting sick of people asking but give it a try anyway) Also include in the email the ID numbers of the Bugs you submitted (you can see this on Connect under Feedback)

  55. michal Says:

    Hey. How can I be a windows vista beta tester???

  56. Robak Says:


  57. alter Says:

    Well. I am felling upset cos Beta Experience users I guess are not included. I hope I am wrong but I don’t think so. Just a few first days of my testing was over 200 bug reports, later I’ve sent much more so I think I did a few things

  58. Daniel Says:

    When are they sending the emails? I have submitted several bugs for Vista RC1 and RC2 and no email! whats going on?

  59. Moshpit Says:

    I’m hoping Zack will come back and actually read the comments. There’s more then a few of us here who obviously qualify, yet 3 days after it was announced for download none of us have seen any email link. Don’t let us down Zack, we didn’t let you guys down.

  60. Adam Says:

    I totally agree with moshpit, please don’t let us, those who helped the beta, down.

  61. sen my free copy email Says:

    free copy

    michael hagelquist ,skive 7800 jutland denmark

    i am a beta boy

    thanks for all

  62. sen my free copy email Says:

    free copy

  63. Dez Says:

    I was part of the Customer Preview Program starting at Beta 2 and submitted a few bugs, although not through the Connect program, but via the beta feedback tools for Vista and Office(send a smile). I understand though that the CPP is totally different from being part of pre Beta 2 testing. I can only imagine how many bugs Vista had prior to Beta 2.

    The people who worked hard and made Beta 2 and therefore RC1 and RC2 deserve to be rewarded, and its nice that Microsoft has done so.

    Hopefully I can get on the Vienna beta trial.

  64. Patrick S Says:

    Thats the attidude Dez…. Youre the sorta person they need!

  65. Sean Says:

    Anyone who has submitted at least one bug while has not get the invition may send an email to with the feedback ID.

  66. Moshpit Says:

    Can anybody confirm what “Sean says” posted?

  67. Thomas Palmer Says:

    Looks like Sean might be trying to scam us, that e-mail address does not even look legit. However, if he did find something, it would be nice if told us instead of trying to …basically steal from us.

  68. Dave Says:

    All employees at Microsoft appreciate the efforts of all the Beta testers who jointly assist us to develop products to better suit their needs. Thank you. I hope you are happy with this new release & it makes you more productive in work & play.
    That said. I do not believe we have made such an offer & would suggest to those reading this article they should not spend too much time on it.
    As a MS Employee I’ve asked a number of different people/groups if they created or were aware of such an offer. Or if they were aware of anything that we said that could’ve created such an expectation. Not one said they were aware of such an offer. Many gave reasons why we would not make it. These are the people that make those types of decisions.
    It is possible that the author may have misunderstood some aspect of the Early Adopter Program where occasionally we offer a variety of resources (sometimes this includes a discount on product) to participating large organisations who deploy the product in significant numbers prior to the Release of the Product. This is to ensure we’ve sufficiently tested the “Large enterprise” scenarios & to ensure that the release is truly enterprise ready.
    I hope this clears the air on this.

  69. Patrick S Says:

    David have forwarded you the email to your Microsoft Address regarding this topic… This will further prove to you that it is indeed a real offer that you guys are giving to Vista testers who have submitted one bug or more.

    Patrick S

  70. yskwon Says:

    very good. thanks a lot

  71. Lutz Frank Says:

    … sorry to bother you, but I can’t hold back my disappointment on the latest Vista-Beta – after having now contributed as technical beta tester for nearly twenty years – finding now on Connect the statement:

    “Free Copy of Vista – To qualify you must have submitted a bug on Connect during the beta.”.

    I’ve started testing OS for you with all the OS versions since Windows 95 from Millennium till now Longhorn aka. Vista. And I’ve been always proud to be able to contribute to the Microsoft community- my Beta ID I know by heart is “375885” – but the sentence above did highly disappoint me … OK, I wasn’t able to provide an accepted Bug for Vista this testing cycle but I spent numerous hours creating and restoring images on my test machine, loading the latest test version and installing them, testing and fighting the little things which are the reason I love being a beta tester – even had some fights with my family spending too many time “for free”. The complimentary copy received was always seen as a sign of appreciation for all the hours spent and the efforts put into the program. (It was just a symbol – I easily could have bought them myself).

    The first time feeling a bit sad was after the sudden finish of the MCE Beta, which ended just in the note to return the test equipment – not even a letter/e-mail expressing the appreciation (which would have been enough). But seeing the notice on Connect on the eligibility to receive this little gift tops it.

    After heaving spent several hundreds of hours and dedicated terrabytes of bandwidth to Microsoft for free, I would have expected something else.

    Sorry, I had to ‘unload’ this from my soul …

  72. Ben Anderson Says:

    I feel your pain dude. The only person at a loss here is Microsoft.

  73. bhoh Says:

    Wow! Unbelievable…^^
    If I’m a Vista tester, it’s great chance in my life..
    God Bless for Windows Vista.. haha

  74. Josue Barahona Says:

    OK Nice!

  75. mondea Says:

    Can I send mail to Vista Beta Team to offer me to get this RTM copy?

  76. Prashant Says:

    Vista always comes up with a COM SURROGATE error. Every time u open up a folder it gives you this kinda error.
    Secondly, with RC1 the system always crashed once i installed the Sigmatel HD Audio driver.
    Vista is not compatible with Sony Ericsson PC Suite. Even under compatibility mode it does not allow you to install the PC Suite Software.

  77. Dez Says:

    Hey can I ask a quick question:

    Is this a legit Microsoft website

    It says you can watch videos to get a free copy of Office 2007/Windows Vista (you just pay taxes)? I just want to know if its not a phishing site?


  78. lukefirewalker Says:

    Could’nt get the free version of vista:Was this a scam?

  79. AriGuz Says:

    I tested many version of Vista and not recived any mail of free copy. When I joined on Beta program I did not hope to receive nothing in return, but now, the form with which she ignored people who step many hours lowering, installing and proving the different versions generates indignation.
    I will hope the date of the launching to buy the final version and I will have left as consolation that I put my sand grain to contribute with the same one.

  80. Your Windows Vista Ultimate Product Key Is Ready!! » MSBLOG Says:

    […] Last month it was announced by Microsoft that testers would get a Free copy of Windows Vista RTM for those who had submitted One or more bug in the Technical Beta (it seems not many people can understand those two words =/ ) […]

  81. lee Says:


  82. choo young jin Says:

    I wish connect window vistar

  83. Andrew Says:

    i submited a bug, i got no email :(

    /me starts to cry…

  84. Alif Jan Says:

    Hi Try vista themes and and wallpapers. And lots of other stuff here for vista users.

  85. Anothai Wimolkaew Says:

    Can’t install DBT-120 Bluetooth usb

  86. Peter Says:

    I just saw this and I was wondering what if you did not notice a bug? I tested the os on my desktop and did everything to it that I normaly would. Heck I just recently reinstalled my old HDD with XP. So I guess people who had a sucessfull test (no problems) are being left out!?

  87. Patrick S Says:

    If you did see a bug i guess you could email it through to the Vista team, HOWEVER this prob wont be fixed untill another service pack or the next version of Windows aka Vienna.

    Left out of what?

  88. xxdesmus Says:

    I beat you by a whole day on this “exclusive” …way to go.

  89. BSHER Says:

    i submited a bug, i got no email

  90. gaston Says:

    been testing since 5384 all the way through rc2 and havent gotten no email what do i need to do??? I reported many bugs from creative drivers causing bluescreens to to Azureus crapping out. Is there anyway to contact them.