If you didn't already download the Windows Vista Release Candidate (RC) 2 bits, you missed your window of opportunity.
Microsoft posted the RC2 bits for download on October 6 and made them available to technical beta testers and others who had enrolled previously in the Customer Preview Program beta pool. Once Microsoft passed its internal target of having 200,000 testers download the new build, Microsoft closed off access to the RC2 build, No. 5744, for CPP testers. Technical beta testers still can access the build via the private Microsoft Connect download center.
"We hit our download target (200K+) within 72 hours of propping the files!" said Vista Program Manager Nick White in a posting on the Vista Team Blog.
Microsoft officials have said RC2 will be the last broadscale test release of Vista. The next time the masses will have access to the code is in November 2006 (for business customers) and January 2007 (for others obtaining the product through other retail/delivery channels).
White also posted that Microsoft has made public its "retail license terms" for Windows Vista. In addition to reserving the right to elimate access to specific Vista features if a system fails to pass the Vista Genuine Advantage validation check, Microsoft also has extended the warranty period on Vista to one year (as opposed to the usual 90 days for previous Windows versions), so that the product is now in line with other Microsoft wares, he said.
Speaking of Vista, Microsoft -- and Sun Microsystems -- have gone on the offensive over the past couple of days to refute a report that Java and Vista's Aero are incompatible. There is some grain of truth in the original report; older versions of Java are not currently Aero-compatible.
But Sun says Java SE 6 works great with Vista. (And you can bet if it didn't Sun would be one of the first to be trumpeting that fact.) J2SE 1.5 will work by January, according to Chet Haase, an architect in Sun's Java client group.
"The full gamut of Vista work that we feel is necessary for J2SE 1.5 should be available in update 11, which we hope to release around January of 2007," Haase blogged this week.
J2SE 1.4.2 will "mostly work" with Vista/Aero, Haase added. "We plan to ship this Vista-enabled update of 1.4.2 sometime following the Vista release of J2SE 1.5. I hope this will be in the first quarter of 2007, but details are still being nailed down," he blogged.
"Our primary focus now is on finishing Java SE 6 and making it a stellar release, then jumping immediately onto the J2SE 1.5 update to make sure that it has the Vista support it needs. Then when we are satisfied that these vehicles are robust, we can address Vista on J2SE 1.4.2."