Windows Vista February 2006 CTP (build 5308)

PROS: First feature-complete build; lets you install multiple product editions
CONS: Buggy; performance challenged
RATING: 5 out of 5
RECOMMENDATIONS: The February 2006 Community Technology Preview (CTP) is the first beta version of Vista to be considered feature complete and to let testers install multiple product versions, such as Windows Vista Home Basic and Ultimate editions. Besides enterpriseoriented setup and deployment tools, it includes a wider array of hardware drivers for easier installation. Although it shouldn't be used on production hardware, I recommend evaluating it as a preview of Vista.
CONTACT: Microsoft * 800-426-9400 * http://www.microsoft.com
FULL REVIEW: http://www.winsupersite.com/article/reviews/windows-vista-february-2006-ctp-build-5308-review-part-1.aspx

Windows Defender Beta 2

PROS: Full-featured antispyware; now runs as a service; doesn't require administrative privileges
CONS: No centralized administrative controls for businesses; still a beta
RATING: 5 out of 5
RECOMMENDATIONS: I've been a big fan of Windows Defender ever since it was Giant Software's Giant Antispyware. Now it's available publicly in Beta 2 form, and Microsoft will release it later this year. An excellent antispyware solution, it integrates with such Microsoft PC health products and services as Windows Live OneCare. As a free but unmanaged product, it's best for individuals and small businesses. (Microsoft will release a managed enterprise version later.) I highly recommend it.
CONTACT: Microsoft * 800-426-9400 * http://www.microsoft.com
FULL REVIEW: http://www.winsupersite.com/article/reviews/windows-defender-beta-2-review.aspx