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Feel free to check out its latest service pack, everyone is a VIP now, says Microsoft

DailyTech reported a couple weeks back on Microsoft's release of its Windows Vista and Server 2008 Service Pack 2's Release Candidate.  The SP2 RC was only available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.  Not wanting to leave the general public out of the testing process, Microsoft has at last announced the availability of the SP2 RC to the masses.

The service pack brings a number of changes and bug fixes to Windows Vista.  It provides support for VIA's new 64-bit CPU, Bluetooth v2.1, Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration wireless functionality, faster Wi-Fi resume times after hibernation, and most significantly the ability to record Blu-ray.

It also features a number of software/connectivity improvements, including faster RSS feeds in the sidebar, Windows Search 4.0, the ability to configure the maximum number of TCP connections.

The service pack is also for Windows Server 2008, and offers the Hyper-V virtualization environment as a free fully integrated feature, with one free daughter OS with Windows Server 2008 Standard, four free licenses with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and an unlimited number of free licenses with Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.  It also improves the management options in Windows Server 2008 and fixes some licensing key problems.

To top it off, the service pack bundles into a single package numerous bug fixes that Microsoft has been working on over the past several months and slowly releasing over Windows Update.  Altogether, SP2 should help to make Windows Vista and Server 2008 more solid platforms, with many small improvements.

Testing is critical to the service packs success.  Microsoft has been burned by past SP releases, which at times caused extreme errors like machine resetting.  The company is looking to give this one a thorough public testing and resolve any issues before deeming it complete.

For those wanting to grab the new SP2 RC, you can download it here.  You will have to uninstall the beta of SP2, if you have it currently installed.

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Final Version?
By masteryoda34 on 3/5/2009 11:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
Is this release candidate the final version of the service pack? I don't want to have to uninstall this when the final one comes out.

RE: Final Version?
By omnicronx on 3/5/2009 11:33:41 AM , Rating: 3
It will be close, but no it is not the final release. You will probably have to uninstall it once the final version comes out. Release candidates are always the last phase before a final release, and it usually means no more functionality just bugs to be fixed.

RE: Final Version?
By Motoman on 3/5/2009 11:53:41 AM , Rating: 3
...and there may be more than one "release candidate" if they decide that this particular candidate isn't qualified. Which differs entirely from our political process, in which totally unqualified candidates get elected anyway.

RE: Final Version?
By TomZ on 3/5/2009 12:00:08 PM , Rating: 5
Someone always finds an angle to bring politics into the tech discussion. :o)

Maybe the site should be called DailyTechPolitics instead!

RE: Final Version?
By Sunday Ironfoot on 3/5/2009 6:00:39 PM , Rating: 3
You're right, George Bush was completely unqualified!

RE: Final Version?
By therealnickdanger on 3/6/2009 8:09:22 AM , Rating: 3
More qualified with greater experience than President Obama... o_O

RE: Final Version?
By Hieyeck on 3/6/2009 8:39:01 AM , Rating: 3
I wasn't aware C-grade students were considered qualified... That's so... average.

RE: Final Version?
By on 3/6/2009 9:11:10 AM , Rating: 1
But that's the American way!

RE: Final Version?
By Kaleid on 3/6/2009 8:52:29 PM , Rating: 1
Right. Reality shows that Bush messed up almost anything he touches.

RE: Final Version?
By The0ne on 3/5/2009 1:34:53 PM , Rating: 4
It's RC and yes you will have to uninstall it prior to installing the released version.

RE: Final Version?
By Aloonatic on 3/9/2009 10:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you probably will have to uninstall it.

Don't be an idiot like I was (am) and forget to do it, as I did with WinXP SP3 RC1. All sorts of things started going wrong a few months down the line (well, the other week). It was only when I replaced it with the official release and the many many many patches that I had missed out on did things start to return to usual.

Lucky, I don't really use that machine to do much apart from stream stuff to my PS3, so it could well have been part of a bot-net or anything else for all I cared, but if it was, I am sorry for any junk mail I may have sent out inadvertently.

It was due a fresh install (which I decided on in the end) as it hadn't had one for a fair few years anyway, and nothing was lost but you never know, next time, it could be worse.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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