Microsoft late Thursday began distributing the newest build of Windows Vista to a select circle of testers. The new version, dubbed "Pre-RC1" by the Redmond, Wash. developer, immediately got the thumbs-up from several prominent Windows enthusiast sites.
Officially pegged as Build 5536.16385, the preview of Release Candidate 1 (RC1) marks significant progress toward the final, Microsoft claimed. "We have made a lot of progress since Beta 2 and 5472, and we think you will notice the quality improvements that we've been seeing in the daily builds," wrote Nick White, a Vista program manager, on the group's blog.
Testers who downloaded the new build generally gave it good marks in their first impressions.
"Installation was quick, performance is great, way better than the previous one," said someone identified as "Ely" on Neowin.net's message forum. Another tester there, "cheesegoduk," added his (or her) two cents. "It installed in under an hour which is great considering I'm not even using my fast hard disk to test it on."
"Performance is about 3x better so far on my Dell Inspiron 9300, and driver support is phenomenal," wrote Matt Freestone on the Windows Connected blog. "I didn't have a single device that didn't come through setup installed except for the sound card which hit Windows Update and immediately downloaded and installed the driver, and did NOT require a reboot."
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