The next major Service Pack release for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is one step closer to its official release. Service Pack 2 (SP2) has moved from Beta to RC (Release Candidate). You can download the SP2 RC from the Microsoft Springboard site.

SP2 will only work with Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Server 2008 SP1, so if you have either of these operating systems and have not yet installed SP1, you should download and install that first. If you're curious what changes you can expect with SP2, you can read Notable Changes in Windows Server 2008 SP2 RC and Windows Vista SP2 RC. Here are some highlights of the changes in SP2:

integrates the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which contains support for Bluetooth v2.1 and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration. Bluetooth v2.1 is the most recent specification for Bluetooth wireless technology.

improves performance for Wi-Fi connections after resuming from sleep mode.

includes updates to the RSS feeds sidebar for improved performance and responsiveness.

includes ability to record data to Blu-Ray Disc media.

SP2 provides an improved power management (both on the server and the desktop), which includes the ability to manage these settings via Group Policy.

Provides better error handling and descriptive error messages where possible
If you have the prior version of Service Pack 2 installed (Beta build 16497) you will need to un-install it before installing the newer RC build (16670) from the links on the Microsoft Springboard site.