If you are crazy enough to try a beta version of Microsoft's upcoming operating system Vista you may want to head straight over to Microsoft's Vista website and download a version for either 32-bit or 64-bit that the company has made available there.
You will need a Microsoft Live account to download Windows Vista or have it shipped right to your home if you prefer to order a physical DVD with the beta version instead. This can be useful if your computer does not have a broadband connection. It also means that it may take days or even weeks before you receive the DVD on the other hand.
I would not bother with a beta version at all but I know that some of you may not want to wait to get their hands on the latest software, even if its beta. There is another reason why Windows Vista, be it beta or final, will never make it on my computer. You should read up on pvp-opm (protected video path - output protection management) and puma (protected user mode audio) if you are not familiar with the terms. You can read about the technology that Microsoft plans to integrate in to Vista over at engadget, lockergnome, ehomeupgrade and pcstats.
Update: It should be clear that the beta version of the operating system is no longer available after all this years. The operating system has been released, and its successor, Windows 7, has been released as well. For Vista, two service packs have been released, and while Microsoft will still support the system with patches, it is unlikely that it will receive any new features or another service pack in the future.
At the time of writing, that is May 2012, Microsoft is preparing the release of the upcoming operating system Windows 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012. A beta version of that operating system is available for download right now. If you are interested, check it out over at the official Windows 8 product website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.