Microsoft is poised to release to testers the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of Windows Vista, paving the way for a second full-fledged beta, which is now expected in December.
Among the new features which could find their way into the updated build are a number of Internet Explorer 7.0 enhancements; the resurrected “Sidebar” task pane; Windows Media Player 11.0; and new networking functionality.
Robert McLaws, president of Interscape Technologies, said that Microsoft released CTP 2 of Vista on Thursday night. “Build 5231 (aka Windows Vista October CTP), compiled on Oct 4, 2005, was posted to the Connect website a short while ago,” McLaws said.
Other beta testers said they did not see the CTP 2 on Microsofts private Connect testers site. But Windows expert Ed Bott clarified that the new CTP 2 build was apparently made available to members of Microsofts Technical Adoption Program (TAP) elite beta-test program, and not to all Connect members..
In any case, Vista CTP 2 should go to a wider group of Windows testers imminently..
Microsofts CTP product builds are not considered to be beta quality. Instead, they are interim snapshots, intended to provide testers with a glimpse of where particular products are, in between full-fledged beta releases. Microsofts developer division has been championing CTP releases for nearly a year. The Windows client and server teams both launched their first CTP builds in September at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC).
Microsofts current plan is to release a mid-October CTP, followed by a mid-November CTP. In December, the company is looking to deliver the full-fledged Vista Beta 2 release in December, according to partner sources close to the company.
Microsoft officials did not respond to a request for comment on Vista CTP 2 by the time this article was published.