Just in case you missed this from other sources BizTalk Server 2006 R2 - Beta 2 shipped last week.
Heres some verbiage that explains the whole deal:
BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will be 5th major release of BizTalk Server. This is another huge step forward for our 6,500+ customers globally and will add new capabilities for customers that need EDI and RFID. While there are numerous improvements to BizTalk, this release has three major themes:
EDI: The native support for comprehensive EDI and AS2 protocols in BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will provide much richer data integration and management capabilities for our customers. The Base EDI adapter that comes with BizTalk Server 2006 enables the sending and receiving of messages using X12 and EDIFACT. Customers can leverage this base functionality in order to build custom EDI solutions.
RFID: BizTalk RFID provides rich data, device and event management, as well as open APIs and tools. The capabilities allow customers to cost effectively build vertical solutions and configure intelligent RFID-driven processes.
Platform Alignment: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 features improved alignment with 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista, including key .NET Framework 3.0 technologies such as WF and WCF. This alignment will help customers access LOB data, as well as system-to-system or supply-chain processes from within their Office System applications (like SharePoint Server, InfoPath and Dynamics).
Q: How do I download the beta?
A: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Beta 2 is hosted on the Microsoft connect site. If you have not registered in the past, a simple username and password is all that is required. It is a quick process. As well, you will find other Microsoft public beta products on the site.
Q: How do I provide product feedback?
A: Feedback is used to improve the software or services that are being evaluated in a connection or program. In Microsoft Connect, feedback issues can include bugs and suggestions. A bug is something that does not work the way you think it is supposed to, and a suggestion is something that you think could be made better by doing it a different way. A Feedback option appears on the Connect menu.
Q: Is this a supported Microsoft beta?
A: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Beta 2 is an unsupported beta, however there will be community-based support for the release.
Q: Are all of the associated components of BizTalk included in Beta 2.
A: Yes, the download includes BizTalk Server, the adapters and the accelerators.
Q: What is your pricing and SKU model for BizTalk Server 2006 R2?
A: We are gathering customer feedback to understand their requirements, and will make further announcements on this topic as we get closer to launch.
Q: What is the timeline for Beta 3?
A: Microsoft will incorporate the customer feedback from Beta 2 into the development cycle. Currently there is not a beta 3 scheduled for BizTalk Server 2006 R2.
Q: When will BizTalk Server 2006 R2 be generally available?
A: The release of BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will be available in the 3rd quarter of CY07.