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Microsoft Will Reopen Vista Test With RC1

Microsoft will re-open Windows Vista to new testers when the next phase of the operating system -- dubbed Release Candidate 1, or RC1 -- appears, the company said Thursday.

Six weeks after the Redmond, Wash. developer turned off the Vista Beta 2 spigot, the operating system's program manager, Nick White, said that RC1 would open the testing pool to new users.

"Will Microsoft open testing sign-ups again when RC1 is released?" White asked rhetorically on the Vista blog. "Yes."

"Will the Customer Preview Program be available for those who missed out on Beta 2 to sign up and get RC1? Yes," he added.

Previously, Microsoft had promised only that testers who successfully downloaded, installed, and activated Vista Beta 2 would receive access to RC1.

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