Microsoft has released a community technical preview of Windows Vista, the operating system set to replace Windows XP. The preview aims to show corporate customers how the new operating system will reduce costs and boost productivity.

The CTP released today to approximately 5,000 beta testers is designed to give IT administrators a preview of the benefits they may get, as well as of the glitches they may encounter.

"We're encouraging customers to test out the enterprise capabilities, understand application compatibility and look at the technologies included to understand the impact they'll have in their own specific IT organizations," said Brad Goldberg, general manager of Windows Client, in a conference call.
Goldberg believes that Vista will benefit businesses in several ways, including driving down the initial deployment cost and total cost of ownership, decreasing image management costs and making it easier to install upgrades. Some observers, however, question just how long it will take for businesses to get these benefits, given that many of them have only just upgraded to XP.