New Interim Vista Build Expected Soon 

According to a report in Microsoft Watch, Microsoft will deliver a new interim build of Windows Vista, possibly build 5506, to beta testers sometime in the coming days. This build would arrive about two weeks before Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) which is expected in early September.

Microsoft Watch reporter Mary Jo Foley says beta testers can expect some new Windows Live integration in the upcoming build including icons in the welcome screen that will give users the option to install Vista compatible versions of Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Toolbar and Windows Live Desktop Mail. Windows Live Messenger will also be available separately via a Start Menu installer icon. Although Foley writes that it's unclear whether this product will replace Windows Messenger from Windows XP, I can report that Windows Messenger won't be part of Vista or updated further in the future.

Unlike previous interim builds, build 5506 will reportedly not be distributed to all beta testers. Instead, it will be given to only a pre-selected group of technical and Technology Adoption Program (TAP) testers. This will be the third interim build to ship since the Beta 2 release in May. As I reported in an exclusive earlier this week, Microsoft plans to ship Vista RC1 in early September and to complete Vista in October. The company will provide the product to volume license customers in November and to consumers in January 2007.

Microsoft Security Patch Can Crash IE 

A recently released Microsoft security patch is perhaps a bit too aggressive. Although it does fix several security problems in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), it can also cause the browser to crash when you visit certain Web sites. Microsoft will issue an updated version of the patch next week to address this problem.

The patch which is addressed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06.042 was rated critical and automatically delivered to tens of millions of people around the world via Automatic Updates. It affects IE 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on Windows XP and Windows 2000.

A flaw in the patch causes IE to crash when users browse Web sites that use HTTP.1.1 compression technologies. This is the second time this year that an IE patch has had to be re-released. In April an IE patch caused problems for users with certain HP scanners and NVIDIA video cards.

Microsoft says it will release a new version of the patch on August 22, but because the patch fixes eight security flaws in the browser it still recommends that users install the original version of the patch in the meantime. Microsoft notes that users can bypass the patch problem by disabling HTTP.1.1 support under the Advanced tab of IE's Internet Options dialog box.

Correction

In Tuesday's WinInfo I reported that Microsoft still planned to release Windows Vista to manufacturing by the end of October. Although this is correct, Microsoft asked me to inform readers that it never publicly promised to finalize Vista in October. Instead, Microsoft publicly pledged only to ship Vista to its volume license customers in November 2006 and to consumers in January 2007. Those plans haven't changed.