The first beta test version of Microsoft Corp.'s next major Windows client release, code-named Longhorn, probably won't be available until the second half of next year, which would represent another delay for the much-anticipated beta. Microsoft had scheduled the beta for 2004, but earlier this year said its release would slip into early 2005. The company is adjusting timing for the test version again because of all the work it had to do, and still is doing, on security, especially Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, people familiar with Microsoft's product plans said Thursday.
"I don't think you will see the beta in the first half," one of the sources said. "SP2 has been a very big deal." The first delay of the Longhorn beta also was attributed to work on SP2. Many developers working on Longhorn had been reassigned to work on the security-focused service pack for Windows XP, which is due out next month, Microsoft has said. The work on SP2 and the focus on security essentially set a higher quality bar at Microsoft, the sources said.
News source: InfoWorld