Adobe Release Lightroom 2.0 Beta

Adobe have made Version 2 of Lightroom available as a public beta. The beta is available as a 30 day tryout, for everyone who wants to try it, and even longer for registered users of Lightroom 1.x.
It is suggested that everyone read the Release Notes document before using it.

Beta Eligibility
Q: Who is eligible for the Lightroom 2.0 beta?

A: All Lightroom 1.0 customers. Lightroom 1.0 customers can download and install Lightroom 2.0 beta for use throughout the beta program
Q: What about customers new to Lightroom?

A: Anyone can download the Lightroom 2.0 beta and try it for 30 days
Q: How can new customers try the beta for the entire program?

A: An invitation program through labs.adobe.com allows Lightroom 1.0 customers to invite friends to try the beta beyond the 30 day trial until the beta expiration date
Q: When does the beta expire?

A: August 31, 2008

IMPORTANT NOTES, PLEASE READ
Primary Known Issues

Lightroom 2.0 beta will not upgrade Lightroom 1.x libraries. The beta is intended to be used for testing and feedback purposes. Lightroom 1.x and 2.0 beta libraries will be migrated to the finished version of Lightroom 2.0.
While data loss is not expected, this is a very early ‘beta’ quality build and you should always work on duplicates of files that are securely backed up.
Lightroom 2 beta will not overwrite or interfere with a machine that currently has Lightroom 1.3.1 installed.
Develop settings applied in Lightroom 2.0 beta are not guaranteed to transfer correctly to the final version of 2.0. This is particularly true for localized corrections.
The new Photoshop integration functionality is only available with Photoshop CS3 (10.0.1) and should only be used for testing purposes. Metadata associated with the original file may not carry over to the subsequent file saved from Photoshop
Additional known issues are listed in the release notes.


New Features

Library
Streamlined Library Layout
Smart Collections
Powerful Filter Bar to search and refine images
Suggested Keywords for simplified keywording
10k pixel size limit raised to 30k pixels
Output-based Collections

Multiple Monitors:
-Four flexible modes for an alternate window: Grid, Loupe, Compare, Survey(Check out the Live Loupe mode!)

Photoshop CS3 Integration:
Open files in Photoshop as a Smart Object
Select multiple images to merge as a Panorama
Merge multiple exposures into a single Photoshop HDR image
Load multiple files or virtual copies into Photoshop as separate layers in a single document.

Export Functionality:
Auto-add exported images to the Lightroom catalog
Auto Output Sharpening for images on export

Develop Module
Non-Destructive Localized Correction for dodging and burning specific areas of an image
Post Crop Vignette
Basic Panel Keyboard Shortcuts
Improved Auto Adjustment
Improved memory handling through 64-bit support on OS X 10.5 and Vista 64-bit.(Not limited to develop module)

Print Module
Picture Package for multi-page layouts
Print Module output directly to JPEG
Enhanced Print Sharpening based on PhotoKit Sharpener algorithms
16-bit Printing for Mac OS X 10.5

Additional Resources
Lightroom video tutorials by Julieanne Kost:
Lightroom 2 beta Tutorial Part I and Lightroom 2 beta Tutorial Part III. (Part II is on the way)
Lightroom 2 beta preview by Ian Lyons
Lightroom Tasmania Adventure
Lightroom 2 beta review by Uwe Steinmueller at OutbackPhoto.com.
Lightroom 2 beta review for our French-speaking photographers
Photoshop Cafe provides a feature review and 1 hour training video.

Thanks to Tom Hogarty at Adobes Lightroom Journal for the info posted above.