Microsoft has told select testers to expect this week a near-final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Microsoft released on February 19 the RC build of both Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 to testers with access to Microsoft Connect, according to Ars Technica. Microsoft will broaden the pool of folks with access to the RC within the next 48 hours, Ars said, and will make it available via Windows Update.
The build number for the RC is 6002.16670.090130, according to Ars. Microsoft delivered an escrow build of the Vista SP2 RC to testers in late January.
SP2 is primarily a collection of bug fixes and updates to Vista SP1. On the server side, SP2 adds built-in Hyper-V support to Windows Server 2008. (Microsoft considers the final release of Windows Server 2008 to already be SP1, if you were wondering where SP1 for server is/was.)
Microsoft isn't saying much about the RC releases. Here's the company's official statement from a company spokesperson:
"Microsoft distributed notification of an update to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2 testers in an effort to gain additional feedback. We continuously engage with our partners and testers on the development of service packs and we will track customer and partner feedback from the beta program before setting a final date for distribution. We will have more to share on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2 soon and are targeting final delivery in Q2 2009."
Unofficial word is the Softies are aiming to deliver the final SP2 for Vista and Windows Server 2008 in April. April also is the rumored delivery-date target for the public Release Candidate for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (Windows 7 Server).