RC1 brings measurable improvements to Vista and should help assuage some key concerns about the operating system, such as compatibility, performance and readiness for Microsoft's planned ship date of January 2007. RC1 also brings a stable enough version of Vista so that system builders and integrators can learn the ins and outs of the platform before gold code hits manufacturing.
Microsoft typically has put out a release candidate before shipping the gold code of a product, an indication that the feature set and user interface are pretty much complete.
Test Center engineers took a long hard look at Vista RC1 and saw some major improvements that bode well for solution providers looking to jump on the Vista bandwagon next year. That said, RC1 is far from final code, and some issues still must be resolved before Microsoft can release the final Vista product, which will probably lead to an RC2 version. Those issues include upgrade compatibility from Windows XP and final code updates for Internet Explorer, along with some other applications.
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