Nick White from the Windows Vista Team blog writes about the process involved when building Windows Vista. He interviews the director of Windows Release Management to find out how all the branching and build numbers works

We were recently able to catch up with Sven Hallauer, Director of Release Management for Windows Vista, to ask him a few questions regarding the build process of Windows Vista. Sven is the master of all Windows builds.

On top of the awesome interview Sven did for us, he also helped us understand the process of incrementing build numbers. In particular, why are we hearing about builds numbers in the 5500’s and at the same time builds in the 5700’s? That’s an awfully big jump in build numbers, so we needed an explanation.

As a preview of the podcast, here’s how the road to Release Candidate 1 works: Sven’s team has set aside a specific range of build numbers to incrementally build toward Windows Vista’s Release Candidate 1 (RC1) milestone; in this case, build numbers ranging from 5400 through 5699. Likewise, numbers beginning with 57XX have been set aside for the RTM (Release-to-Manufacturing) release.

So does this mean that MS is working on builds for RC1 and RTM in parallel? You bet!

Download our interview with Sven in MP3 or WMA formats.

So The only reason i think why Microsoft is doing this is because they plan to introduce new things like startup sounds, bootscreen and a more crisper polished Aero Glass in the RTM