Microsoft’s next Windows version is now in beta and being distributed to the testers. This release, called “Beta 1″, is going out to about 10,000 official technical beta testers (selected people from the IT/developer community) and soon another 500,000 who are members of the Microsoft Developer Network and Microsoft TechNet.
Some of the Vista features missed the cut for Beta 1. Among the ones that made it: the visually stunning Avalon (their new graphics display engine) is included (with their new Aero theme), the new virtual folder system which allows grouping of data by customizable meta information is included in Explorer, also included are new account restrictions and a new group that drives users into using accounts with less than administrator rights (to combat malware, spyware, viruses, etc. by restricting the ability of processes run at the current user’s level).
For more info, check out this article PC World: Windows Vista Beta Program Begins