I first revealed that Microsoft would be releasing an interim Windows Vista build to testers back on March 15, 2006 after getting word from sources at Microsoft that the company felt it could quickly make some changes based on feedback from the February CTP (see my review). As promised, Microsoft shipped this build to beta testers and its Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partners on Friday, March 24, 2006. This build doesn't include any major new functionality, so I won't be reviewing it separately. However, there are some minor changes, primarily to Media Center, which has been cleaned up quite a bit. Here's a small screenshot gallery that largely shows how little has changed.
The next major Windows Vista release is expected May 24, 2006, when Microsoft will ship the Beta 2/RC0 (release candidate 0) version of the operating system to testers and others during the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006 in Seattle. I'll be at the show and will of course be covering any developments that occur that week.
For more information about recent Windows Vista happenings, be sure to check out my WinInfo articles, Exclusive: Microsoft Delays Vista Beta 2 to Late May, RTM to October 25, 2006, Opinion: Windows Reorg Proves Microsoft Still Doesn't Get It, EU Warns Microsoft About Windows Vista, and Finally, Microsoft Releases Windows Vista Hardware Requirements. Yeah, it's been a busy month for Windows Vista.