Well, it's your lucky day - you can now download it, and you don't even have to be on MSDN, CPP, TAP or any of the other programs! It's yours! Take it!
Before you go zooming off to download this little beauty, it's important that you read the following:
"This build (5728) has a number of improvements and updates from RC1, but has not been put through the same internal testing process as RC1 and therefore may be unstable in certain installations. We are making this release available for a limited time only (and only by download) in order to get broad distribution and testing in a variety of PC configurations. Please note: This build may not have the same level of support or servicing via Windows Update, and you may not be able to upgrade to the final version of Windows Vista".
To be honest though, I have been using an even newer build, 5732, for a few days now, and it's sweet as a nut. No problems so far, and my machine is so packed with Beta software it's unreal, and it still manages fine. Everything runs smoothly, quickly, all the drivers are in there - I don't think you will have any problems.
"Installation notice: Users of Toshiba models M400, M4, and M5 should choose to do a clean install (not upgrade) of this build. Before upgrading from Beta 2, please install any Critical Updates from Windows Update for Beta 2. Go to Start, All Programs, Windows Update, and click the “Check for Updates” button"
A couple of new things you do get with the 5728 are some funky new wallpapers, and a new boot animation! If you are interested in how this release is on a different path to the RC1 release, head on over to Long Zheng's blog. Long writes some great stuff about Vista, so take a look. The image below is taken from Long's post, where he got the chance to chat with Paul Donnelly, the Microsoft Windows Vista beta program manager, to ask about the development process for Windows Vista and branching.
You can also go along to Long's blog and try to win a Vista Mousemat! Cool!
Get along to the download site to start downloading straight away! you can download it in two ways:
Bear in mind, that you can only download the 32-bit version for now, and it comes in ISO format, so your DVD-Burning skills will need to be up to scratch to take advantage of your huge download!
For those of you who would prefer to go with the supported 5600 RC1 build, you can still get your hands on it, here. Enjoy! :-)
What hardware are you using? I have an Alienware machine, with Dual 7900 GO Video cards, and I have to use older drivers, but it does work successfully. I am anticipating new drivers though!
With regards to 5732 - your wait is nearly over, and even better, you will have 5744, in the shape of RC2 to play with in the next few days!
Hope that helps,