Windows Vista RC2 (build 5744) was available internally late last week, and I'm writing to you from it right now. It's available for download to technical beta testers, Customer Preview Program participants, TAP Testers, and MSDN/TechNet subscribers. Here are the details and announcement in the Windows Vista blog.
I upgraded my Vista RC1 machine to RC2 on Friday, and I must say I have been very impressed. Performance is improved, and some of the stability issues I alluded to in my "first impressions of RC1" article have been resolved.
Search is snappy, the graphics rendering is smoother, wireless networking is reliable, my Windows Mobile Device Center (think ActiveSync++ for Vista - now available to download in beta 3 form) is gorgeous and syncing to my PocketPC (which I love, and should really write more about here).
My laptop, a Toshiba M400, can now reliably sleep and wake up in a split second.
In fact, at this point, I have generally stopped thinking of this as being a pre-release operating system; I just get on with what I'm doing, and Vista makes things easier. (I am, however, still learning tips and tricks on a day-to-day basis!)
The state of RC2 bodes really well for Vista's imminent launch. If you're a member of any of the programs mentioned above, head to the Windows Vista Team Blog to learn how to check it out for yourself!
[Update 12 Oct: Due to overwhelming demand, the RC2 Customer Preview Program is now closed. Wow -- 200k+ downloads -- that was quick!]