On Monday, Microsoft shipped the second build of Windows Vista since releasing Beta 2 in May. Vista build 5472 will be made available to beta program participants, select Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers, and MSDN subscribers, a Microsoft representative told me during a briefing late last week.

"Microsoft is distributing this build in order to provide testers with a more recent build and to encourage application and device-driver developers to accelerate development on Windows Vista," the Microsoft representative told me. "This build includes quality and performance improvements based on feedback Microsoft has received on Beta 2 to date."

In my brief use of the new build, I've noticed a few changes. User Account Protection (UAP) now pushes its alerts to the taskbar and waits for the user to respond; previously, UAP alerts would pop up in the middle of the screen and the user would be forced to deal with them immediately. Build 5472 also includes the new Vista Basic UI, a more desirable UI for use on computers that don't have the hardware to run Vista Aero. And the new Aero mouse cursor is enabled by default.

"The new build includes only small updates, such as work to the fit and finish of the product, and no major new features," the Microsoft representative told me, noting that the build won't be made available to people in the Customer Preview Program (CPP). A future Release Candidate 1 (RC1) build will be more widely available.

I have a short overview and screenshot gallery for Vista build 5472 now available on the SuperSite for Windows.

http://www.winsupersite.com/article/showcase/windows-vista-build-5472-overview--screenshot-gallery-1.aspx