Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Vista SP2 Beta Released

Today Microsoft announced it has released Vista SP2 beta to testers. Mike Nash Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, at Microsoft writes:

Starting today, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will have access to the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta to begin testing.

Beginning Thursday Dec. 4th, we will be making the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta available to everyone through a Customer Preview Program (CPP). The CPP will launch on TechNet and be available to anyone interested in trying out this service pack. The CPP is intended for technology enthusiasts, developers, and IT Pros who would like to test Service Pack 2 in their environments and with their applications prior to final release. For most customers, our best advice would be to wait until the final release prior to installing this service pack.

Windows Vista SP2 builds on the solid foundation of Windows Vista SP1, and represents our ongoing commitment to Windows Vista today. Windows Vista SP2 includes all of the updates that have been delivered since the release of Windows Vista SP1, and incorporates improvements discovered through automated feedback from the Customer Experience Improvement Program (where users voluntarily opt-in to sending Microsoft error reports from their systems). In addition to these updates, SP2 also includes support for new types of hardware and emerging standards that will grow in importance in the coming months. For specific changes in Windows Vista SP2 - see my previous post on Windows Vista SP2 or check out the notable changes document.

Your feedback from testing will help us deliver the highest quality release possible. As of today, we are tracking to ship Windows Vista SP2 in the first half of 2009.

Service Pack Information

  • SP2 Beta is pre-release code which will change before the final release of SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2/Windows Vista SP2 Beta is time-limited software that will operate until May 1st, 2010 - Un-install Windows Server 2008 SP2/Windows Vista SP2 Beta before May 1st, 2010
    • After SP2 installation your desktop may display the text “Evaluation Copy”. This does not mean that your system is no longer “Genuine”, only that you have installed a test version of software which is time-limited
    • After installing the service pack, the “Evaluation Copy” text may show up on the 2nd boot
    • After un-installing the services pack, the "Evaluation Copy" text may remain during the first boot, but will disappear after the next reboot
  • Starting any Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Vista SP2 installations will result in Microsoft collecting information about the installation process.
As always with beta software it is suggested you create backups of your main programs and any sensitive material before testing. I'd suggest anyone wanting to test the software create a separate install, thus minimizing the risk of issues with your main installation.

For more details and the download link (when it goes live) checkout TechNet.

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