Here's a short and sweet one for everyone who's interested:
Microsoft has officially released its pre-RC1 version of Windows Vista, which can be downloaded here
. If you're keeping track, this is build 5536.
In order to prevent the tremendous server strain caused by the Beta version, the particular mirror above is not a Microsoft site and the downloads will be closed after 100,000 transfers. You might wish to jump in line sooner than later, or you'll be liable to be digging for torrents. The build purportedly goes a long way to fix memory optimisation issues, which should allow the OS to run considerably faster than its previous builds. Whether it will run sensibly on 1GB of RAM, however, has yet to be determined.
For those not familiar with all the acronyms, pre-RC1 is right before the public Release Candidate 1 version, which is slated for the week of Sept. 5. Why a pre-release of the release candidate? Isn't that more like a Gamma release? Well, we're not entirely sure...but hey, it's free - are you complaining?
Go grab a download, give it a whirl, and let us know what you think in our forums
. But please be smart and check your MD5 before installing...especially if you grab it off a torrent somewhere. Better safe than sorry!