Bleeding Edge Technology: Vista SP2 RC Released
Today Microsoft announced that the release candidate (RC) for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is now released to the general public for beta testing. How can that be a bad thing? It works for OSS projects like Firefox and various Linux distros. Just anyone can go and download these might-as-well-be-final versions of their product and be a tester. After all, you’re helping improve the product, right?
This is all well and good, and I’m happy to see Microsoft improving over something they used to have in common with Apple, which was basically forcing users with official releases to be the final “testers” of everything they put out. With users’ input early on before official release, the final product can be much more polished. It used to be common that only hardcore geeks and software engineers got in to beta test operating systems and other big expensive pieces of software, which still often led to end users encountering difficult interfaces or features that were lacking.
A word of caution though: if you’re jumpy to get your hands on the SP2 RC today, keep in mind that it’s still not an “official” release even though it should be pretty close to it. You should wait until the final release is out unless you’re comfortable with restoring your computer with System Restore, or have someone you can contact for technical support besides Microsoft if you hose your system. Also, be aware of how to contact Micrsoft to report any bugs you might encounter, and if you’re handy with code, a patch to fix it.