From Paul Thurrott:
"I've heard from several sources now that there will be "multiple" Longhorn beta releases which, to me, casts more doubt on a late 2005 release date than any of the other claptrap I've read online. This would be a departure from previous Windows versions, which tend to have several alpha milestone releases and then two or three beta releases, followed by a small number of release candidate builds. Microsoft's John Montgomery, the Director of the company's Developer Division told me that Longhorn Beta 1, due in summer 2004, will be developer focused, but huge, with tens of thousands of managed testers and millions of external testers. Beta 2 (ETA unknown, but I'm expecting it in the first half of 2005) will be more consumer focused, with better fit and finish, and a near-final user experience (which I take to mean this is the beta release where we'll finally get Aero). Regarding those who are testing build 4051, Microsoft is considering doing a post-alpha longhorn SDK drop, based on feedback, which would necessitate a new alpha build release before Beta 1. That's something I'd really like to see happen; it's a long time 'till summer 2004."
News source: WinInfo Short Takes
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