Saturday, April 03, 2004

Windows Longhorn Beta not due till 2005...


A first beta release of the next version of Windows likely will be delayed until next year because Microsoft Corp. is concentrating first on a security-focused update to Windows XP, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said Thursday.

Microsoft had said it would deliver a beta version of Longhorn, the code name for the next Windows release, in mid-2004.

However, the test version is now expected in early 2005 because many developers working on Longhorn have been reassigned to work on Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, a Microsoft spokesman said.

"Based on what has happened over the past year in the area of security, we took a look at what was going on with Windows...and pulled resources from Longhorn development in order to deliver Windows XP Service Pack 2. That slightly impacted the beta schedule for Longhorn," said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Windows at Microsoft.

Windows XP SP2, scheduled for release in the first half of this year, is more than the usual roll-up of bug fixes and updates. Microsoft is using the update to make significant changes to Windows that are designed to improve security in four main areas: network protection, memory protection, e-mail and Web browsing.

Longhorn is a major new Windows release, a "big bet" for Microsoft, chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said last year. Gates has described Longhorn as a "big breakthrough release" and the most significant release of Windows since Windows 95. Microsoft Corp. chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates on Monday pointed to 2006 as the release year for the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn.

Speaking at Gartner Inc.'s Symposium/ITexpo event in San Diego, Gates stopped short of setting 2006 as the year for Longhorn, but said that industry speculation that the operating system will come out in 2006 is "probably valid speculation."

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