The company expects up to two million downloads of the beta, which is available for free through mirrored servers around the world. The wider beta 2 release is of the Windows Vista Ultimate version of the software, free to be tested in English, German or Japanese. Testers can also choose to review either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the program.
Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and other company officials have promised Vista will offer enhanced security features while making safety more manageable for users and IT pros.
This public release comes amid news today that Microsoft has axed another feature originally touted for Vista. The company decided to nix PC-to-PC synchronization before the beta 2 release due to quality control concerns.