Microsoft has decided to offer Windows Vista Beta 2 (build 5384.4) to the public for free. I can only assume this is Microsoft's way of letting everyone know that they have an actual working product and that progress is being made regardless of the delays. This is a great strategy to let people know what to expect in the next version as well as get a sneak peek of what they will be paying so much for. Screenshots show that the beta is of the Windows Vista "Ultimate" type. Microsoft seems to have a knack for releasing betas of upcoming software. Several weeks ago, the Microsoft Office 2007 Beta was released.
Microsoft mentioned last month that Vista will be offered in more flavors than the regular home and professional. There will actually be, get this, seven different kinds of Vistas: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, a Home Premium with MCE, Ultimate, Professional, Small Business and Enterprise Editions. You can find out about the differences between each type of Vista on Softpedia.