It's that time of the week again where we look at the goings on for the previous week in technology news, courtesy of Paul Thurrott. This week he mentions that our friend Steven Bink incorrectly got sourced for the upcoming Beta 2 release for Windows Vista by Infoworld. If I recall correctly Steve mentioned a specific date in February for Pre-beta 2, and April for Beta 2 which is still on track and confirmed by Paul himself. Maybe he read it wrong?
InfoWorld Gets Source Wrong, but Vista Beta 2 is Indeed Due in April
This week, "InfoWorld" incorrectly credited Steve Bink with revealing that Microsoft plans to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 in April. WinInfo readers will recall that I wrote about this topic a week ago (it's in last week's WinInfo Short Takes and has been on the "Releases I'm Tracking" list on the front page of the SuperSite since the middle of last week). In any event, as I wrote here last week, we can also expect a new Windows Vista Community Technology Preview (CTP) build in mid-February. The developers surpassed the build 5300 milestone a week ago and were up to build 5306 on Wednesday. Probably a more recent build will be forked for the February CTP code tree.
Yes, Microsoft Is Considering Becoming an iPod Competitor
I can confirm reports that Microsoft has been building a potential iPod competitor in house, and I've discussed this product with various people in Redmond since last summer. However, it's not clear whether Microsoft should release such a device. To date, most of the iPod competitors from Microsoft partners have been lackluster, and certainly none of them match the coolness factor of Apple's offerings. But here's the problem: If Microsoft ships a product that's less interesting than the iPod, the company will have effectively hammered the last nail into the coffin of its Windows Media technologies and erased any chance that such a format will succeed in the future. In other words, a Microsoft iPod competitor would have to be perfect. To date, Microsoft has been shopping its work around to partners in a bid to give them ideas about how they might better compete with Apple, but it hasn't yet decided to get in the game. My advice is to hold off.