100,000 public Vista testers get pre-RC1 build

Following the release of Windows Vista Beta 2 to the public in June, Microsoft has now put up a download page where Customer Preview Program members can grab the latest pre-Release Candidate 1 build of the operating system. The download is actually open to anyone, but as Microsoft explains in its invitation, a valid Beta 2 CPP product ID is required to complete the installation process. This is a limited-time offer, too: after 100,000 downloads, Microsoft will close off the test program. The pre-RC1 build—a.k.a. build 5536—was released to technical beta testers last week and reportedly brings substantial performance improvements over the Beta 2 version. Some screenshots of the build are available here. Thanks to The Inquirer for the link.
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