Microsoft has officially launched its Windows Vista Beta 2 Customer Preview Program. The program finally makes Beta 2 available to the general public, and it will be used in the future for release candidates as well. The build offered is 5384, the same one released at WinHEC (5384.4, weighs about 3.13GB). M-Dollar hit this news last night, but it deserves attention on the front page.
What’s all the hubbub? Check out our tour of Vista Beta 2 for a look at what’s in the beta.
Wondering if your computer is up to snuff? Try the Vista Upgrade Advisor beta. The application will tell you where your weak spots are, and most importantly, it will tell you what Vista does and does not have drivers for yet.
Microsoft has also established a web page rounding up various Beta 2 related things, such a product information, community links, and a pointer to the Office 2007 beta.
Beta isn’t the second letter in the alphabet for nothing!
Now, it goes without saying (or rather it should) that this is beta software. The OS is not complete. Judging from my morning surfing, the Internet is awash with people who are shocked and amazed that x driver isn’t available or y feature doesn’t work right. While Beta 2 is quite usable in my opinion, we do not recommend that users install this OS on their primary computers, or any system that they need. Furthermore, any complaints about not being able to run Half-Life 2: Episode One perfectly on your Vista box instantly earn you three demerits.
That said, we can expect an explosion of chatter online, as it appears that many people are diving in to this beta head first. As another note of caution, let me say that there is no guaranteed upgrade path from Beta 2 to the final release.