At Microsoft's Velocity 2006 worldwide partner conference in Boston Tuesday, a Microsoft executive said the updated beta will be available to Technet subscribers "in a few days."
"Vista in its beta form is pretty taxing on the system. It's slow and a little non-responsive," said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows client marketing at Microsoft.
"That piece of software is now about nine weeks old and that may not sound like a lot but at this stage, that's an old version in software terms."
"You'll see a huge difference [in performance]," Sievert said of the interim release, noting Microsoft is recommending 512 Megabytes of memory when testing the new code.
It is another interim beta release since Vista Beta 2 was announced at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in May. Beta 2 was made available broadly via the customer preview program in early June.
The Window Vista Enterprise Edition is set to ship to volume licensed customers in November and all other Vista business and consumer ediitons will be available to the broad channel and consumers in January of 2007.
Partners and customers have said Vista is very resource intensive and claim that most PCs -- even those just two to three years old -- won't run the new Windows operating system.
"One thing that's different about Vista is that it's hardware aware and scales itself based on available hardware. A great example [of this] is the Aero user experience part of the Premium version," Sievert said, noting that the user interface feature is self-enabled. "It's a way to allow Vista to provide richer and more immersive experiences."