Notifications will start going out today to users of Vista Ultimate Beta 2, Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and RC2 of the upcoming expiration, a company spokeswoman said. "Customers will have ample time to back up data and migrate their PCs to the final version of Windows Vista," she said.
Upgrade paths were detailed on Microsoft's Vista site.
The only in-place upgrade route -- one that retains the settings, applications, and data as-is -- is from Vista RC1 using a copy of the $259 Windows Vista Ultimate upgrade. Users running either Beta 2 or RC2 can upgrade to Ultimate, but they must do a "clean install," a process that overwrites the hard drive and destroys all data on it.
These restrictions differ from the advice that Vista users, including ones identifying themselves as MVPs (Most Valuable Professional), advanced users recognized by Microsoft, were dispensing just two weeks ago. Then, the word was that all three preview versions -- Beta 2, RC1, and RC2 -- would accept an in-place upgrade. Their advice was wrong on another count, for they claimed that only a full edition of Ultimate -- which retails for $399 -- would handle the chore.
better get off the beta or RC installation while you can