Thanks neufuse for this piece taken from Paul Thurrott"s weekly short takes for the week ending July 4th.
As for Longhorn Beta 1, that milestone release is still on track for "this summer," although Microsoft officially missed the original internal release date of June 30. My sources say that Microsoft now plans to ship Longhorn Beta 1 in late July. The beta 2 release is still scheduled for November. Internally, most Longhorn product groups have already shipped their beta 1 code to the Windows team, and Microsoft is now prepping various 5200-series builds (post-beta 1) for internal rollout and testing. My sources describe Longhorn Beta 1 as one of the most stable beta 1 OS releases in Microsoft history, although it will lack most of the UI niceties the company plans for future releases. Beta 2, I"m told, is going to be "incredible" and "far more impressive than people now realize." We shall see.
News source: WinInfo