Redmond (WA) - A few days ahead of this Sunday’s launch of the highly anticipated TechEd conference in Boston, Microsoft has made available for public download the next community technology preview (CTP) - otherwise known as "Beta 2" - of Windows Vista. The company is asking individuals, not just invited participants, to test their non-mission-critical Windows XP systems for eligibility and capacity using the "Upgrade Advisor" tool, and then try the new OS build for themselves.
The release date for the CTP is essentially the same period of time as had been anticipated prior to last March’s announcement of a delay in Vista’s consumer release, suggesting that development of the operating system may actually remain on schedule, as Microsoft suggested would be the case back in March.
Last night, just prior to the download page’s posting, a Microsoft developer assigned to the Windows Presentation Foundation project - the new internal graphics driver model, associated with DirectX 10 - promised in a posting to his blog that graphics performance with Beta 2 should be "orders of magnitude faster" than with previous editions. He invites testers to use a profiling tool to confirm his claim, and to send the results to him for confirmation.