By now hopefully you've seen that beta 2 has shipped.  There are several interesting links:

We run a huge number of stress variations through the system.  We have to lock down on all combinations of {CPU (x86, X64, IA64)} * {Windows Versions} * {Technology (Asp.Net/Data/Winforms/Web Svcs/etc)} * {Short vs Long Haul}.  In the CLR we are often looking through dumps that in some cases take days to actually fire.  We run these suites all the way up to 32-way machines to ensure we are driving out race conditions and other issues.  Having most of the stack in managed code is actually a *huge* win for us here, because most of the nasty memory corruption issues are caused in unmanaged code that is manually managing memory. 

Nailing all of these criteria (where validating the final build can take up to 5 days) takes a while.  But I'm proud of the division for holding the line on quality over schedule.  I'm happy to advocate the Go Live option because we have accomplished this.

Towards the end of this whole process, we had a visit from Darryl K. Taft of eWeek to the Whidbey ship room.  By the end of the milestone, every bug fix we take gets scenario and code reviewed for a combination of benefit to the customer and risk to the release.  You can imagine how fun it is to review IA64 hand coded assembler routines with 35 people in the room :) 

Please enjoy the release and make sure to send us your feedback.  I'm looking forward to hitting some go live customers efforts very soon...