It wasn’t a Beta release, it was a Release Candidate. That is a subtle, but important distinction. Frequently, a RC is 100% the same as the final release (and in some projects, it must be, since the only thing that can be added to a RC is a severe bug, at which point a new RC is cut).[/quote:12ptl1fh]
I’m sorry but according to my experiences, RC is usually just a next beta. The only difference is it should have complete feature set and it also isn’t always true. Especially when milestones are planned by marketing. The good example is XP SP2; the difference between RC2 and RTM was rather signifficant for me (as I had to rework my driver again ).
You wrote how it should be in the ideal case. And don’t forget we speak about installation which is usually the least interesting thing for developers. Automatic and supported update from RC could be of course possible but it would mean more work and maintenance. As beta testers we always have to accept possible problems and anyway, beta testing is voluntary