Here's a walkthrough of the process I've used to signup for the Windows Installer 4.5 Beta

1) go to URL http://connect.microsoft.com/availableconnections.aspx
2) sign in (using a creating new hotmail account - steps omitted for brevity)
3) after completing new account creation, the page returns me to the https version of the Available Connections page at https://connect.microsoft.com/availableconnections.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0
4) scroll down alphabetically to "Windows Installer 4.5 Beta"
5) Click on Apply link in the far right column of the Windows Installer 4.5 Beta row
6) I'm taken to page https://connect.microsoft.com/SelfNomination.aspx?ProgramID=1506&pageType=1&SiteID=432 which has a Continue button at the bottom which I click.
7) I'm taken to a terms of use page at https://connect.microsoft.com/registration/terms.aspx?regType=2&cru=%2fSelfNomination.aspx%3fProgramID%3d1506%26pageType%3d1%26SiteID%3d432&cu=%2favailableconnections.aspx%3fwa%3dwsignin1.0 at the bottom of which there is an I Agree button which I click
8) I'm taken to a register page at https://profile.microsoft.com/RegSysProfileCenter/wizard.aspx?wizid=f81448ea-824f-4ca7-9ed1-39af10a9b425&lcid=1033&fu=%2fregistration%2fregistrationconfirmation.aspx%3fcru%3d%252fSelfNomination.aspx%253fProgramID%253d1506%2526pageType%253d1%2526SiteID%253d432&cu=%2favailableconnections.aspx%3fwa%3dwsignin1.0 which I then fill in the information and click the Continue botton at the bottom
9) I'm taken to a Verify Ownership of Your Email alias page at https://profile.microsoft.com/RegSysProfileCenter/wizard.aspx?wizid=f81448ea-824f-4ca7-9ed1-39af10a9b425&lcid=1033&fu=%2fregistration%2fregistrationconfirmation.aspx%3fcru%3d%252fSelfNomination.aspx%253fProgramID%253d1506%2526pageType%253d1%2526SiteID%253d432&cu=%2favailableconnections.aspx%3fwa%3dwsignin1.0
10) Switch to email and see I've received an email from the connect server (after a bit of waiting).  Open the email and click the embedded link (omitted here for brevity)
11) the link from the email takes me to a E-Mail Verification Confirmation page at https://profile.microsoft.com/RegSysProfileCenter/ConfirmEmail.aspx?lcid=1033&EmailEntered=rflaming%40microsoft.com&eck=GQvY1J4y0OzM%252fLNB2Hm%252bcw&CP=2&brand=Microsoft&Wizid=f81448ea-824f-4ca7-9ed1-39af10a9b425&fu=https%3a%2f%2fconnect.microsoft.com%2fregistration%2fregistrationconfirmation.aspx%3fcru%3d%252fSelfNomination.aspx%253fProgramID%253d1506%2526pageType%253d1%2526SiteID%253d432&Sec=1 at the bottom of which is a Continue button
12) after clicking Continue,  I'm taken back to the root of the connect site so I switch back to the Verify Ownership of Your Email page and click Continue on that page
13) I'm taken to a Welcome to Connect page where I enter a friendly name and click the Continue bottom at the bottom of the page
14) I'm finally taken to the Windows Installer 4.5 Beta site at this URL https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=432
15) On the left hand side I see a "Downloads" menu item so I click it
16) I'm taken to the page https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/Downloads.aspx?SiteID=432 where I see the two white papers
17) I click on the first link and it takes me to this page https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?SiteID=432&DownloadID=8270
18) I click on the download link and I get a prompt from the Gold Bar (of IE7) whether I want to allow the download
19) I right click on the Gold Bar and select download file...
20) I get the dialog "Do you want to open or save this file?" and choose Open
21) Word boots with the first document
22) I go back to the browser and click the back button until I get to the list of available downloads at https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/Downloads.aspx?SiteID=432
23) I click the second link on the available downloads page which brings me to the page https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?SiteID=432&DownloadID=8271
24) I click on the download link and I get a prompt from the Gold Bar (of IE7) whether I want to allow the download
25) I right click on the Gold Bar and select download file...
26) I get the dialog "Do you want to open or save this file?" and choose Open
27) Word boots with the second document

[Author: Robert Flaming]
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified at http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.htm.