Microsoft has just released a new build of Windows Vista for technical beta testers. Windows Vista Build 5456 offers many security, functionality, and performance advantages over the previous build (Beta 2 – build 5384.4). Vista Build 5456 is quite a large leap number-wise, and according to Microsoft, in features and performance as well.
Some of the new features include a revamped Aero/DWM subsystem, and a completely overhauled and siginficantly less obtrusive UAP for all those that couldn’t stand the previous one. From what we have been told by Microsoft, the Time Zone bug that plagued all most all previous builds of Windows Vista has been fixed and works great now, and quite a few fixes in the Regional Settings and IME are now implemented. And for the first time since Windows 3.0 Microsoft has finally announced that new mouse cursors will be made available for Windows – something they promised to do in XP with “Watercolors” but failed to deliver for internal reasons!
The build details and autochk values for the x86 and x64 builds respectively are as follows:
Size: 2,572.91 MB - autochk: 0x80E3B54D
Size: 3,356.9 MB - autochk: 0x0D680F43
Continuing the standards of 5365, both x86 and x64 are only distributed in FRE staged formats for optimal install-times and performance ratings.
These ISOs contain Windows Vista Ultimate, Home Basic, Home Premium, and Business Editions. The Product Key for Ultimate Edition is the one for 5342 and above, the rest use their respective Beta 2 keys (information courtesty of Microsoft Corporation).
NeoSmart Technologies recommends downloading from either the Dublin (Europe) or Redmond (United States) severs regardless of location; the Singapore (Asia) server seems to be experiencing bottle-necks and isn’t fast – and may even result in data corruption as previous occurences have demonstrated.
Microsoft has also made available German, Japanese, and for the first time, Arabic localized builds of Windows Vista available. This marks quite an interesting turn of events, normally Arabic is one of the last languages to be ported to Windows, and is the buggiest of IMEs. However, at NST we have realized that Arabic support in Windows Vista is far-improved over that in previous versions of Windows.
This build is only being made available to technical beta testers (members of the Vista & IE7 program on Connect.com) and TAP members. MSDN and CPP members will not have access to this build (though it installs and activates with their existing product keys from Beta 2).
Screenshots are here, and a review will shortly follow.