There’s good news is you were a Vista Beta Tester! According to, the Ultimate Vista key that was issued for participating in the Beta will qualify you for the Vista Family Discount. Remember, the family discount means that with a purchase of Windows Vista Ultimate, you can purchase two copies of Windows Vista Home Premium for $49.99 each. Your Vista key counts as a retail copy which means your three copies of Vista will only cost you $100.00. Make sure to use your non-Beta key for your copy of Vista, because the Beta key will not work. I guess this is Microsoft’s way of saying thanks!

The Vista Family Discount is of course available to everybody with the difference being that if you weren’t a Beta tester, you will have to purchase Vista Ultimate at full price ($399.99) before you can get the discounted copies of Home Premium. Either way, it’s a reasonable discounted offer from Microsoft and will give multiple computer households the chance to upgrade more affordably.

Source: Windows-Now

–Extend the 30-day Windows Trial–

In our review on Vista, we mentioned the 30-day trial of Windows Vista that anybody is able to take advantage of.  Because you could potentially be dishing out quite a bit of money for this new operating system, it’s nice that you have the option to ‘try before you buy.’ I’ve come across two different sources that explain how to extend the 30-day grace period to 120 days. They also say that no hacks are required, and that it’s supported by Microsoft.

All you have to do is start a command prompt as an Administrator and then issue this command:

slmgr -rearm


After you have issued the command, you’ll need to restart your computer for the extension to take effect.  Now, this doesn’t extend you to 120 days, instead it gives you an additional 30 days.  You’re able to issue the command 3 times which will give you 120 days to try it out. This gives you plenty of time to determine if it’s worth the money or not.


–Microsoft Confirms Vista Speech Recognition Remote Execution Flaw–

According to George Ou over at ZDNet, Microsoft has confirmed that a flaw with Vista Speech Recognition could allow an attacker to verbally execute commands using the speech recognition feature. The UAC wouldn’t give the attacker control over administrative level commands, but anything outside of that could potentially be at their disposal. A few things would have to be in line for an attacker to be able to do anything harmful.

First, you’d have to have a microphone and speakers connected to your system.  Remember, this is a verbal attack.  And secondly, you’d also need speech recognition to be configured. The odds of this actually happening are probably very slim, but the fact that it could potentially happen means that it’s something that Microsoft needs to address.

You can read more about this here and here.

Source: Thanks wlancowboy!