Microsoft announced on May 23 that it was making Vista Beta 2, Longhorn Server Beta 2 and Office 2007 Beta 2 available to testers immediately.
Microsoft is making Vista available to its existing beta testing community first, by providing attendees of the WinHEC conference here with DVD versions of the new test builds on May 24, and allowing other TechNet, Connect and Microsoft Developer Network subscribers to download the bits.
Microsoft is planning to broaden the Beta 2 pools in the next few weeks of May, allowing up to two million testers to get their hands on the Vista test code.
Testers trying to download the Vista Beta 2 bits from Connect and MSDN reported huge bottlenecks, resulting in lengthy waits. But once they got their hands on code, testers immediately began pounding on it.
Some testers contacted by Microsoft Watch said they were dismayed that they were still experiencing driver and compatibility issues with Beta 2.
Although he was disappointed that he could not find Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi drives for Vista, Carlos Echenique, site owner and editor in chief of the Miami-based PlanetX64/PlanetAMD64 Windows community sites, said he found the new build to be "a bit more stable than the previous build and the install process is way more informative."
But one testers "informative" is anothers "excessive." Several Vista Beta 2 testers said they still are finding the number of Vista prompts requiring confirmation for specific tasks to be annoying and overkill.