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'Final' beta version of Vista (RC2 build 5744) available

by Bob Crabtree on 9 October 2006, 12:53

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) - possibly the last beta version before the final operating system is released - came available on Friday to technical beta testers from this page. It's expected to be more widely available this week via MSDN and TechNet, so also keep an eye out on this page.

According to Microsoft,

This new build of Windows Vista offers users a higher level of performance and stability – improving what was established in Windows Vista RC1. We were able to also fix many of your bugs reported from RC1 and implement them for RC2. 

In a "special announcement" letter, Microsoft's Platforms and Services Co-President Jim Allchin (heir-in-waiting to Bill Gates) told beta testers that this would be the last build before Vista moves to its release version. He said,

There are thousands of quality improvements since Windows Vista RC1. You’ll probably notice improvements in performance, application compatibility, as well as fit and finish work. We will continue improving quality until RTM.

We are just around the corner from RTM and shipping this great product to the world. This will be the last build made available prior to RTM, so please keep the feedback coming so we can hit the finish line.

The download takes the form of a 2.49GB .ISO file that you'll have to burn as a DVD. It can be downloaded directly or, as Microsoft advises, using the Akamai Download Manager - which is relatively painless but does involve installation of a small Java app.

If you've already been using a Vista beta, then your existing product key should work with RC2 build 5744.

Thoughts? Share them with us in this thread in the HEXUS.news forum.


HEXUS.community :: discussion thread about this article
HEXUS.hardlines :: Vista 5728 available but for limited time and with limitations


Windows Vista Team Blog - Windows Vista RC2 is now available to technical beta testers!

HEXUS Forums :: 48 Comments

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I'm using it right now, faster than XP, perfectly stable. a few apps seems to have a bit of trouble. Easily fixed though.

And it's soo purdy. I'm a sucker for glass effects and animation :P
I eventually got it working on my 24“ iMac, and it's smooth as butter on there. I didn't have much luck with RC1 or the previous RTM-track build, but I eventually found some good instructions on the comments of a TUAW post (can't give you the URL, the board system won't let me yet).

Bluetooth doesn't work and I can't find the device which corresponds with the INF file, which is annoying… but completely bizarrely, the Bluetooth keyboard works perfectly. I'm still baffled by that.

Graphically, it looks gorgeous. Vista was absolutely designed for high-res widescreen monitors. I've had RC1 installed on my standard box (with a 17” TFT), and it looked like a slightly shinier version of XP. On the iMac, it looks bloody beautiful.

In terms of normal use, on my usual box (P4 2.4C @ 2.92GHz), it's a little less snappy than XP, but on the iMac's Core2 Duo, it feels very, very quick. I couldn't get my MSDN copy of XP to install on the iMac so I don't have any particularly good comparisons, but it definitely felt snappier on the Core2 Duo than XP did on my standard box.

I'm going to try out some gaming tonight, but as I don't have a baseline to work from, it's more going to be a general “how does it fare” thing than anything concrete.
Just got it running. Gonna take me a while to get things going on it before I can evaluate anything.

The biggest problem I've found is the Creative beta drivers expire in a couple of weeks. Hopefully they will put out some new ones.

Anyone know what the changes are from RC1?
im downloadign now, but where do i get a key from?
You dont need a key, you can just skip it. not seen microsoft hand any out since pre RC1.