Last week we had a rumor that Windows Vista SP2 RC was released to select testers. It turns out that it might be just a notification from Microsoft a week ahead that RC is done and available for testing or it might have been a near final RC made available for testing to select testers.
Microsoft has announced today that the RC of SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers to test prior to final release. Microsoft will make SP2 RC available to the general public via TechNet during next week. As expected the final version of SP2 will be made available in the 2nd quarter of 2009. Microsoft also plans to make the RC build broadly available for anyone to download and test in the near future.
Betanews also reports that a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the first release candidates for Service Pack 2 for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be released to the general public for testing next week.
The service pack is delivered as a single release for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. There will be a single 32-bit standalone installer (302 MB to 390 MB) for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. However, there will be two 64-bit standalone installers, including one which covers x64 architectures (508 MB to 622 MB) and one for Itanium 64-bit (384 MB to 396 MB)
It is good to see that Microsoft is making the service pack available even before Windows 7 RC as that would allow users not to skip the service pack for any reason. It is also clear with this release that Microsoft is still urging businesses to upgrade to Windows Vista before Windows 7.
To know more about the changes in SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, check out here