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Testing Begins for Vista SP2 Release Candidate, Reports Say

Microsoft has advanced to the next testing phase by issuing Release Candidate "Escrow"-build versions of Service Pack 2.

Microsoft has advanced to the next testing phase for its Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems by issuing Release Candidate "Escrow"-build versions of Service Pack 2. Various news accounts, published this week, suggest that the build is being made available for testing.

The releases apparently are only available to private testers via Windows Update. The Escrow build, reported as "6002.16659.090114-1728," represents a final bug-fixing stage. It signals that no new features are being planned for the forthcoming RC version, a near-final release.

Microsoft is telling its testers to download the RC Escrow releases on Jan. 30, according to veteran reporter Mary-Jo Foley, citing a Microsoft e-mail sent to testers.

At present, the general public can only access SP2 Beta versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, which were released in December.

Microsoft now tends to release its service packs for Windows and Windows Server at the same time. The two operating systems share a similar code base, representing a departure from Microsoft's Windows XP days when the code was forked.

It's not clear exactly when the final SP2 versions for Vista and Windows Server 2008 will be released, as Microsoft doesn't provide that information on its road map.

The TechARP Website, claiming to know Microsoft's schedule, leaked a final release date of Feb. 16 for SP2 RC. That same source claimed that SP2 will be released to manufacturing starting in the second quarter of 2009.

If the RC release works like the SP2 Beta, users will need to have Service Pack 1 installed beforehand in order to update Vista or Windows Server 2008.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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