Despite rumors to the contrary, but in keeping with the schedule I first published on the SuperSite for Windows months ago, Microsoft is planning to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 in late 2005, not in early 2006. According to internal documentation I recently reviewed, Vista Beta 2 is scheduled to be "feature complete" by September 29, 2005. Then, Vista Beta 2 will enter lockdown mode between October and November 9, 2005. After that date, Beta 2 will be in escrow. Microsoft now plans to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 on December 7, 2005, about three weeks later than the last schedule I obtained.
What about post-Beta 2? According to a second set of documentation I viewed Monday, Microsoft will ship Windows Vista Release Candidate 0 (RC0) on April 19, 2006, and Windows Vista RC1 on June 28, 2006. Microsoft currently plans to release Windows Vista to manufacturing on August 9, 2006, and make the product broadly available by November 15, 2006.
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