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Official: Microsoft doesn't know which Millennium it is

Y2K disaster here we come, apparently...

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Confusion over Microsoft's on/off Millennium Beta 1 announcement has echoed around the Web over the past couple of days, but that's scarcely surprising, considering how confused Microsoft itself is about it. Microsoft announced Beta 1 accidentally (MS announces Millennium beta by mistake) on Friday, then rapidly pulled the release. It was, apparently, a mistake, and Redmond had only meant to send out the routine weekly build of Millennium, and not issue a press release at all, honest. But if you turn to the original release, which you still can, thanks to Paul Thurrock of WinInfo (Escaped beta release), you can see how awesomely confused Microsoft really is. Tear down to the bottom of the bulletin, to the links to other information, and look at the one that says Millennium promises to revolutionise computing as we know it. Doesn't sound like it's what you'd expect from an operating system that's intended to be a rev of Windows 98, does it? Matter of fact, it doesn't sound like an operating system Microsoft has the slightest chance of shipping this side of doomsday either. Those in the know are of course aware that there are two projects within Microsoft codenamed Millennium. One of them is the next generation/iteration consumer operating system developed on the Win9x base, and the other is the space cadet distributed OS research project that Microsoft Research announced in March. One might of course observe that whoever was responsible for codenaming the Win9x project "Milennium" obviously wasn't in the know, but considering what Microsoft Research has come up with so far in the way of shippable product (not a lot), it's probably understandable that hardly anybody on the operational side pays much attention to what it's up to. Whatever, it appears that whoever was responsible for putting together the Millennium Beta 1 press release just did a quick search and grabbed a pile of stuff about anything called Millennium, without actually reading and understanding it first. Still, as the release itself was apparently only an alpha, it'd be unreasonable to expect heads to roll. ®

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