Those users that currently have Windows Vista will be happy to hear that Service Pack 2 has reached the release candidate stage. Microsoft has released this release candidate build for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that contains both a series of hot fixes as well as some new features.
While the latest release candidate contains approximately 671 hot fixes, perhaps the bigger news is the new features and enhancements that the latest RC build has to offer. New additions include support for VIAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s latest 64-bit CPU, Bluetooth Version 2.1 support, and the Wi-Fi Connect Now (WCN) technology that extends the ease of use of the wireless technology and offers much faster reconnection times after a hibernation condition.
One feature that is sure to grab a lot of attention is the ability to record Blu-ray discs from within Windows Vista without the need for additional software. This addition brings the recording of Blu-ray discs into the mainstream for the first time from within Windows.
Windows Search 4.0 gets a bit of an overhaul as well to improve performance and enhance the use of the feature by allowing the ability to configure the number of TCP connections that it uses. RSS performance will also be enhanced within the sidebar.
As for Windows 2008 Server, the update will bring the addition of Hyper-V virtualization environment to Windows 2008 Server as a free, fully integrated feature that will include a free daughter OS for Windows 2008 Standard users. Those that have Windows 2008 Enterprise will receive a licensing addition that allows for four free licenses; and if you are running Windows 2008 Datacenter addition you will get the addition of unlimited licenses. The problem with licensing keys has also been addressed and additional changes and fixes to the management options are being addressed in the latest update, as well.
Microsoft has not announced a projected time frame for the release of Service Pack 2, but the welcomed fixes and changes should provide at least some enhancement to the operating system for the short term. We think that many users may not see the fixes and features going far enough, but Microsoft likely views them as necessary as the company prepares to discontinue support for Windows XP.