Microsoft is currently letting people download Windows Vista 5536 Pre-RC1 but they have limited the number of downloads to 100,000! That sounds like a lot but it really isn’t if you think about how many people will be downloading it.
You can go to this page in order to download Vista 5536 or you can just download the ISO directly with this link. The download is only available for 32-bit machines and I doubt they have any intentions of releasing a 64-bit version.
Also, you will have to use your Windows Vista Beta 2 product key because they will not provide a new one for you. Hopefully you still have it laying around someone. *scurries to go look*
Why are they doing this? They want to make sure RC1 is as rock-solid as possible. We all know that it isn’t a final release but it should be stable enough to use everyday. This is their reasoning:
Most importantly, if there is a crash, hang, or error – please make sure that you send the information back to us using the built-in Windows Error Reporting technology (a dialog box will display automatically). Sending this information is essential to helping us improve the overall quality of Windows Vista – and collecting this information is the primary purpose of distributing this pre-RC1 release.
Thank you Microsoft for curing those of us who are too impatient to wait! :)