According to MSTN, Microsoft seems to be testing out their relationship with partner Akamai by releasing the pre-RC1, build 5536, of Windows Vista as an .iso for download – but only for the first 100,000 people.
The download page from Microsoft offers two ways of downloading: by a d/l manager or by a direct link to the .iso itself. (The latter did not work on our end so we gave in and installed the download manager. The ISO is 2.58GB.)
Microsoft seems pretty desperate to get as much beta testing done as possible so, do both them and us a favor and test this one out…then give feedback. Because, as much as I don’t feel like supporting a multi-billion dollar company by encouraging their extremely closed off business model, I also don’t want to deal with a crappy OS for the next 5-7 years. Who knows? You might even be surprised by the latest Vista experience: “Windows Vista Build 5536: It’s Not Crap.”