How to get a product key for Vista RC1

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 14, 2006
Updated • May 13, 2013
Windows, Windows Vista

Beta and release candidate versions of Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system, can be downloaded from the official Microsoft Vista website, but getting a product key does not seem to be that easy.While there does not seem to be a restriction in place in regards to downloading the Windows Vista test version to the local system, the same cannot be said for getting a product key for the operating system that you need to activate it. Without a product key, Vista will only work for 14 days.

What you need to do to get a Vista Release Candidate 1 product key is the following:

  • Visit the link to the Microsoft Vista homepage and sign in.
  • If you have not signed up before you can easily create a new account by clicking sign up now.
  • You have to provide some information, a working email address, a password and the like.
  • Microsoft sends out a confirmation email at the end of that process.
  • If everything worked out fine you should be directed to a website which requires some information about your current job.
  • Filling that out brings you to a new page that links to Vista downloads (English, German and Japanese versions) and displays the product key in the same window.

One funny thing that I noticed is the following: If you refresh the page with the information the product key stays the same, if you open the page using the link above you will receive a new product key. If you need more than one I guess you can just visit the website a couple of times.

The website with the product key looks awful in Firefox by the way so better use Microsoft Internet Explorer for that.

Update:  With Vista being released, product codes for the release candidate have stopped working and being distributed by Microsoft. Windows Vista itself actually has been superseded by Windows 7, which is about to he superseded by Windows 8 as well in the coming months.


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  1. elena said on April 5, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    i’ve made my pc format windows vista and now sais to activate windows.i’m writing the product key and it doesnt accept it because sais that is in use.what i must to do?

  2. ammar said on January 22, 2007 at 11:09 am

    want the product key

  3. george said on October 12, 2006 at 4:32 pm


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