I've just seen a blog article that cites Information Week suggesting that Vista RC1 is due soon. According to the Information Week article, also picked up by BetaNews, MIcrosoft will be opening the testing to more users. Betanews suggests that Microsoft has ignored it's testers advice to go for a real Beta 3 and are pressing on with the current schedule.
From what I have seen so far, I do not think Vista is any where near ready, but maybe MS has managed to pull it off. Certainly one way to get Vista out the door is to just close down bugs - and MS has been doing this big time of late. Certainly most of the bugs I've reported, while present in the latest CTP, are now marked as closed. It's clear to me that the Vista team are just closing bugs rather than fixing them.
My view continues to be that Vista RTM will not be a release any corporate is likely to want, and SP1 (which will most likely have to be released soon after release) is going to be worth waiting for. But we'll see how good (or bad) RC1 is once released.
Once interesting point - apparently Cusomers who participeated in the Preview Program for Beta 2, and otthers are to be given RC1.