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Microsoft is making the last trial version of Vista available to developers and beta testers before it releases the finished product.

RC2 version of Vista can be downloaded by TechNet and Microsoft developer network members.

A letter from Jim Allchin, platform and services co-president at Microsoft, posted on a Microsoft forum, thanks testers for their help in spotting bugs.

Allchin said: "All your great feedback has helped us focus on nothing but bug fixes over the past month since RC 1 each and every day. There are thousands of quality improvements since Windows Vista RC1. You'll probably notice improvements in performance, application compatibility, as well as fit and finish work."

The letter also states: "We are just around the corner from RTM and shipping this great product to the world. This will be the last build made available prior to RTM, so please keep the feedback coming so we can hit the finish line."

In related news anti-virus vendor Kaspersky says Microsoft is not blocking security firms from accessing source code. This is in contrast to claims made last week by McAfee, in a full page FT advert, that Microsoft was making life difficult for security suppliers. There's more in the Washington Post here.

There's more on the Microsoft forums here or a review on ZDNet here.®

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