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Months Before Launch, Partners Say Vista RC1 Not Ready

Microsoft is making its first Vista release candidate and pricing information more broadly available to partners and consumers this week. Solution providers who have seen it say it's not yet ready for prime time.

On Tuesday, just days after handing out Vista release candidate 1 to a select number of technical testers, Microsoft announced it will distribute RC1 to current Customer Preview Program testers and post it to Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet sites for download in the next few days.

As Microsoft reaches another major milestone in the five year run-up to Vista, Microsoft also confirmed published reports Tuesday that Brian Valentine, senior vice president in charge of Windows development and 19-year Microsoft veteran, is leaving the company.

Valentine will assume a senior vice president's post at Amazon.com beginning in mid September. Last month, Microsoft announced it planned to reassign him to another positon after the completion of Vista and appointed Microsoft Senior Vice President Jon DeVaan to lead Windows development in the future.

Additionally this week, Microsoft said it will reopen its Vista Customer Preview Program to new participants and hopes to have as many as five million people testing the code as the product, the first major Windows upgrade in five years, is prepped for retail release in January.

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