Windows Vista Release Candidate 2 (Windows Vista RC2) build 5744-16384 has been released by Microsoft. Windows Vista RC2 is likely to be the last non-final or non-RTM (release to manufacturing or gone gold) version of the Windows Vista operating system. Windows Vista RC2 fixes many bugs found in RC1 and implements thousands of quality improvements that hope to improve on OS stability, performance upgrade and application compatibility, compared with Windows Vista RC1.

Windows Vista RC2 is available for public free download at (no longer available) for Customer Preview Program (CPP) users. RC2 is also available via TAP testers, MSDN/TechNet subscribers and technical beta testers and Microsoft Connect (no longer available).

Windows Vista (v5744-16384) is available in English 32-bit (X86) and English 64-bit (X64) edition. You can download the ISO file of Windows Vista which to be burned to a DVD directly below (resources no longer available):

vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x86fre_client-lrmcfre_en_dvd.iso (2,552.57 MB)
vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x64fre_client-lrmcxfre_en_dvd.iso (3,609.21 MB )

The download size of Windows Vista is huge, so you may opt to download the Windows Vista ISO with Akamai Download Manager which allows users to pause, resume, and stop the download of the file, with the ability to automatically restart the download when the process is interrupted.

Important note is that Microsoft has issued the following warning for RC2: This build may not have the same level of support or servicing via Windows Update as RC1, and you may not be able to upgrade from this build to the final version of Windows Vista. So you want to upgrade directly to Windows Vista final RTM version, instead of fresh install or clean install Windows Vista OS again, use RC1.

Update: Download Windows Vista v6.0.6000 Final RTM Release, the final RTM that will be on stores’ shelves, and released to OEMs.