Today, at the WinHEC conference in Seattle, Microsoft released Windows Vista Beta 2, on schedule. This is the first public beta release for the new Windows operating system. Conference attendees will have the first opportunity to run the new code, build 5384, with a broad public campaign to follow within a few days. Windows Vista promises greater confidence, with built-in self-diagnosis and improved Help; greater security, with reduced user account privileges; and better graphics, introducing a new 3D graphics system known as Aero. Since beta 2 is not ready for prime time, you should install this version of Vista on a new partition or on a nonproduction PC.