Microsoft may have finished the gold-master version of Vista, but tech support for the beta versions is just beginning... through gritted teeth.
In a surreal "Groundhog Day" type announcement, Microsoft has announced it will now be offering tech support for Windows Vista betas.
Microsoft finished the final "release to manufacturing" version of Vista a month ago and released it to business customers two weeks ago.
Yet it now says it will provide "best effort" tech support to members of the public who are unfortunate enough to still be running Beta 2, RC1 or RC2.
There are some caveats, however.
Don't even pick up the phone if you are trying to use Vista in a network domain environment, if you're using a non-English version, or if you're outside the US/Canada. (Of course, cheap VoIP makes international phone calls less of an issue these days.)
One can't help feeling the tech support team might have been dragged to the table kicking and screaming by the public relations and sales/marketing people, fearful of adverse 'word of mouth' reports about problems with the Vista beta in the lead up to the big sales push.
Microsoft's blog posts concludes with "For all CPP participants, the newsgroups remain the most valuable channel for finding helpful information on general issues related to Windows Vista."
In other words, Microsoft helps those who help themselves.