Microsoft has released Windows Vista SP2 RC and Windows Server 2008 SP2 RC (Service Pack 2 Release Candidate) in all languages to MSDN and TechNet paid subscribers, after more privileged testers get them earlier. General public will be able to download the release candidate version of second service pack for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (first service pack, as SP1 is integrated before server OS is released) for testing starting from next week, i.e. early March.
The Service Pack 2 will be delivered as a single standalone release for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, which also marks the first time service pack is delivered not according to operating system build, but only to byte length (32-bit or 64-bit). Thus, the 32bit (x86) all localized languages version of SP2 can update both 32-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, while 64bit (x64) all localized languages version of SP2 can update both 64-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Itanium based system will get its own 64-bit SP2 standalone installer though. There are also other builds of SP2 executable, mainly to serve different localized languages of Windows OS.
For user who can’t wait for official public release of Windows Vista SP2 RC and Windows Server 2008 SP2 RC, the standalone setup installer of Windows Vista and Server 2008 SP2 RC has leaked and available for free download. Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 SP2 have build version 6002.16670.090130-1715 (v.286).
The leaked executable of SP2 RC for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Windows6.0-KB948465-X86.exe and Windows6.0-KB948465-X64.exe has the exact same hash values with the information listed on MSDN Subscriber’s Downloads, which proves that the build is indeed a real and genuine SP2 RC, and is a all languages version.
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 RC and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 RC (x86) – (All Languages)
File Name: mu_windows_vista_sp2_rc_and_windows_server_2008_sp2_rc_x86_317366.exe
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 RC and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 RC (x64) – (All Languages)
File Name: mu_windows_vista_sp2_rc_and_windows_server_2008_sp2_rc_x64_317368.exe
Windows Vista users have to first install Windows Vista SP1 prior to install SP2. Any previous beta builds of SP2 have to be uninstalled first too.
The final RTM SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is schedule to be released in the second quarter of 2009.
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