Microsoft, the world’s largest producer of software, on Tuesday confirmed that its much anticipated—and oft delayed—Windows Vista operating system (OS) has entered a widespread beta, or test, phase, and the non-final version of the software has been dubbed Release Candidate 1 (RC1), Reuters reports.
The company also announced pricing details for Vista. The basic version will start at $199, and the “ultimate” edition will sell for roughly $399, Reuters reports via USAToday.com. Existing Microsoft users who wish to upgrade to Vista will have the option of paying $100 for the basic edition or $259 for the high-end version, according to Reuters.
Microsoft also said it plans to stick to its most recently announced release dates of January 2007 for the consumer version of the OS and late fall 2006 for the Vista enterprise edition, according to Reuters. Microsoft has delayed the release of Vista on numerous occasions during the past two years.
Upwards of 5 million Microsoft customers across the globe will be able to get their hands on RC1 for testing, and the Redmond, Wash.-based firm said it began making the test version OS available on the first of September, beginning with a handful of technical users, Reuters reports.
Just last week, Microsoft “inadvertently” posted pricing details for the business version of Vista on its Canadian website. A few days later, Amazon.com, the uber Web retailer, listed prices and release dates for the software giant’s upcoming operating system.
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