Microsoft has made the last beta of Service Pack 2 for Vista and Windows Server 2008 available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers to test before final release.
The general public will also be able to download the latest version of the service pack "in the very near future", according to a blog post by Brandon LeBlanc of the Windows Client Communications Team.
The SP2 Release Candidate boasts new hardware and application compatibility support, more enterprise features, support for "emerging standards", and setup and deployment upgrades.
"We expect SP2 to continue the security benefits of both products," noted LeBlanc.
Microsoft will release a final version of the software in the second quarter of 2009, according to the blog post. Despite the somewhat hazy schedule, it is widely believed that SP2 will be released by mid-May.
A list of notable changes in SP2 includes no fewer than 691 hotfixes, integration of the Hyper-V virtualisation environment, backwards compatibility for Terminal Server licence keys, and improved power management features on both the server and the desktop. Microsoft also said that it has included a cleanup tool for recovering hard disk space used by previous Vista updates, and Windows Search 4.0.
A previous public beta for Vista and Windows Server 2008 was released in December last year.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download the latest beta here.
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