[28 September 2006 Update] The Windows Vista September CTP has been released to beta members. There is a matching September CTP from the .NET 3.0 Runtime Components, Windows SDK, "Orcas" Tools and Workflow Extensions to Visual Studio 2005.
I originally wrote this blog entry to help folks reconcile the differences between three concurrent releases of Windows Vista - each of which had different release points (public vs. MSDN vs. beta-only) - with the various moving parts that developers needed (.NET 3.0 Runtime Components, Windows SDK and Visual Studio 2005 Extensions). Due to popular demand, I've decided to continue updating it through RTM with each release of the various products.
Note: CTPs are generally removed once superceded by two releases. Therefore, this blog entry will be updated to remove the links to those releases which are no longer available from our servers.
Below, I’ve listed the builds in terms of what works with each operating system and development/runtime environment to help you decide which build you need. Once you know which build you wish to install, you can then use the Download Locations Matrix to locate the download pages/links. The last section then enumerates some key points regarding each build milestone.
Note: Since these are all "prerelease bits", it is highly recommended that you install these products/technologies on a non-production, test machine and remove any previous versions before installing.
Windows Vista Pre RC1