As with previous non-public releases, Microsoft expects a limited group of testers will try the build and send feedback on bugs encountered. After that the software giant expects to continue on schedule for a November release to business users and January 2007 to the general end-user.
Goldberg, who was on a cross-country tour in late September designed to get the message out about the business value and benefits that Vista brings, also said Vista is on track for availability to businesses via volume licensing in November, with broad general availability to consumers set for January 2007.
Despite of Microsoft's optimism on the matter, there seems to be a general consensus among the online community that the OS is yet to be perfected for a final release. I have personally tried a few different builds of Vista since Beta 1, and while improvements have been there with every new build, even on RC1 which is currently my main OS, I do believe there is still a lot of unpolished stuff that should be taken care of, both in terms of stability and GUI consistency.