Feeds

MS nixes MSDN WinXP Beta 2 downloads

And makes a complete horlicks of the Preview Program...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft seems to have made a total pig's ear of WinXP beta access for MSDN subscribers, and has compounded this by inflicting another one of those online foul-ups it's so good at on would-be Preview Program buyers. Due credit to Paul Thurrott of WinInfo for digging this one out - Register Preview Program subscriber William H Spam III has just been sitting there like a dummy waiting for the alert email from MS, so missed all the action.

Microsoft was going to make XP Beta 2 available for download by MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers, who all pay a substantial amount of money for early access to Microsoft products, and are therefore not likely to be best pleased by the company's failure to deliver. We know for a fact that download access for MSDN was still being considered at the weekend, but clearly Microsoft must have decided against it at the last moment.

The reason offered by Microsoft is the dreaded Product Activation system, which requires that the downloaders have product activation keys to enter. Beta testers have these, but MSDN subscribers don't, and although Microsoft intends to have a system for distributing keys electronically by the time XP ships, it hasn't got one right now. Yes, we know, there are universal keys they could use posted all over the Web, but somehow we don't think Microsoft would be very happy about that.

CDs of Beta 2 are being sent out, but Paul's got conflicting information on when. It might be yesterday, today, or it might be the first week in May. MSDN subscribers might consider that quite a few people who aren't on the beta test, haven't gone for the Preview Program and haven't stumped up for MSDN are already downloading illicit Beta 2 code. Go figure territory, surely...

The Preview Program mess probably also relates to the product keys, but included magically changing terms and conditions as well. According to Paul, the first 20,000 people to access the site were offered a download of Beta 2 for $9.95, but then found they couldn't download it after all once they'd paid up. Now the site offers CDs of RC1 and RC2 for $19.95, and downloads of RC1 and RC2 for $9.95. But as they're not out yet, you can't download them. It does however suggest that Microsoft expects to have electronic key distribution in place by RC1. Fingers crossed, people. ®

Related Link:
Paul's story, in which he sounds remarkably like a hacked-off MSDN subscriber

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.