Microsoft is making the latest build, No. 5472, available to a select group of technical beta testers only.
Microsoft is opening up the new build to its TAP (Technology Adoption Program) members, MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers and other selected technical testers only.
The newest Vista build is not a full-fledged beta. It is one of the interim builds that Microsoft has committed to make available to testers on a monthly basis until Vista is released to manufacturing.
"Microsoft is distributing this in order to provide testers with a more recent build and to encourage application and device driver developers to accelerate development on Windows Vista," according to a statement provided by a company spokesperson.
"This build includes quality and performance improvements based on feedback Microsoft has received on Beta 2 to date."
The new build does not include any major changes to the Vista feature set or user interface, said Mike Burk, a Windows client product manager.
It consists primarily of bug fixes; tweaks to the User Account Control functionality to make it "less chatty"; and stability/performance improvements, especially around Media Center, Burk said.
Burk said the primary reason Microsoft rolled out Build 5472 was to make available to a wider set of testers—specifically, MSDN subscribers—"something post-Beta 2."
MSDN subscribers should be able to download the code by July 18 or 19, Burk said.