Again catching up on some news from late in July, David Boschman has a great summary of the Vista Beta announcement. Quoting liberally:
Software developers can start start building applications for Windows Vista with this release. All developer-related information for Windows Vista can be found on the newly launched MSDN Windows Vista homepage.
The focus of Windows Vista Beta 1 is on the “fundamentals”: security, deployment, manageability and reliability & diagnostics. Windows Vista Beta 1 is primarily an infrastructure release and as it’s a beta release it does not contain all of the end-user features. These end-user features will be included in Beta 2.
Developers will be able to leverage their Win32 and .NET Framework development skills to build applications using the full beta 1 of the WinFX Runtime Components, formerly code-named the “Microsoft Pre-Release Software Code Named “Avalon” and “Indigo” Beta1 RC“.
With the arrival of beta 1 of the WinFX Runtime Components the codenames “Avalon” and “Indigo” have received their final names: Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly “Avalon”), Windows Communication Foundation (formerly “Indigo”), and “InfoCard” for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
More by following the link.
I posted earlier on the simultaneous Windows Server Longhorn beta.