According to the Windows Division blog this build is an update to Beta 2 of Windows Server "Longhorn" and it seems the Windows Server Division basically followed the Windows Vista team in their attempts to improve performance and reliability for their (Pre-) Release Candidate 1 builds. If you're looking for new features, don't get your hopes high, because all the neat stuff is already in Beta 2.
If the August CTP is as big as a jump forward Build 5536 was for Microsoft Windows Vista, you'll be in for a performance surprise. I haven't seen a report from Paul Thurrot yet on Microsoft Windows Vista RC1 Media Center performance, but I guess his wife can now watch television with fluent sound in contrast to the Beta 2 experience she and her kids had. I can just imagine what a performance boost like that would do to Active Directory, Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and all the other ways you can put a Windows server to use…
What's in store?
Of course I'm referring to Microsoft Windows Vista builds 5520 and 5536, which were both intended and the latter even released as a Community Technology Preview (the CTP word again) as a Pre Release Candidate 1 build to Connect, MSDN and Technet subscribers, days before the Windows Vista team released Build 5600 and designating it Release Candidate 1.
Perhaps what we're witnessing here are the tremors towards a Release Candidate 1 Build of Windows Server "Longhorn". Personally I don't think so for one major reason: Microsoft didn't announce a final name yet for Microsoft Windows Server "Longhorn". On the other hand Microsoft (these days) uses a different roadmap for Microsoft Windows Server "Longhorn" than Microsoft Windows Vista, which could allow time for a Beta 3 build of Microsoft Windows Server "Longhorn".
Perhaps you're wondering where my fellow bloggers were hiding the last week. So did I. 😉
Disclaimer Beta Software
The information on this webpage applies to software from Microsoft that was in testing phase but utilizable by experienced users by the time the webpage was written. This software has not been released for sale, distribution or usage for the general public. The information on this webpage and the beta software are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.