When Microsoft released Windows Vista Beta 2 to the public earlier this month, it was received with mixed if not poor reviews. Some problems were attributed to the fact that the operating system was in beta, yet other problems appeared to be so glaringly obvious that one would have to wonder how Beta 2 ever escaped QA. Luckily, now we can forget all about Beta 2 and move on because there is a new build of Windows Vista out, and it is reportedly much improved over the Beta 2 release.
According to Paul Thurrott, Build 5456 is "so much better than Beta 2, in fact, that I'm begging the company to offer it to everyone that signed up for the public beta through the Community Public Preview (CPP)." Some of the new enhancements found in this release include:
Less time required for the installDefault network setting is now a "public network"Faster access to network PCs and sharesRenamed and revamped Network Center; it's Network and Sharing Center nowQuick launch icon for Flip 3DAppropriate performance warnings when using Aero GlassList view added back to Explorer's view stylesDrag and drop tabs in Internet Explorer 7Aero mouse cursorImproved performance, new icons, and new branding
And those are just some of the additions. Surely, as more and more testers get their hands on this build, reviews will sprout out from everywhere. As Thurrott says, it would be nice for the public to get its hands on this build if it is that much better, but a CPP release is definitely more trouble than it's worth for Microsoft. More than likely, the next public release of Windows Vista will be RC1. I'm thinking that what we saw with Beta 2—frantic download frenzies —is minor as compared to what will be coming with RC1. It's just a hunch.