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Win2k beta 3 out – biggest ever MS beta rolls

It's 670k copies and counting so far -- any advance?

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Microsoft has announced the Windows 2000 beta 3, as expected, and confirmed $59.95 as the general price. But the company has also come up with some numbers. The beta will go to 430,000 customers, 140,000 developers and 100,000 channel partners, which gives us 670,000 recipients before you include versions that go out with PCs from the 20 companies Microsoft says have agreed to ship beta 3. This is a major wild card, as volumes will be a combination of user demand and how restrictively the companies approach distribution. Microsoft doesn't seem to be busting a gut to get what looks set to be the largest ever Windows beta into testers' hands. Some of the most important punters will be getting code early, but the company is still quoting two to four weeks delivery for most, and congestion on Web orders plus delays in getting the international subsidiaries properly plugged into the programme will likely extend this. The company is still maintaining a vague stance on precise gold code shipment, although the beta seems pretty final. If the beta period is lengthy, though, we could see some seriously large numbers of copies going out. We at The Register are working on some estimates, and will get back to you with them RSN. ®

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