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One last build before beta 2 – MS goes on WinXP BSOD hunt

Still not beta 2, but nearly, nearly...

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Microsoft released yet another pre-beta 2 build of WinXP last night, but from the sound of it this one - build 2458 - is largely a last minute reality check before the company makes the beta 2 release next week. The scheduled date for beta 2 has been pushed back from the beginning of this month to March 21st.

According to the release notes, Microsoft is only looking for "serious issues on this build. Bluescreens, crashes and hangs and such." Testers are urged to report this class of issue ASAP, but to lay off reporting "non serious issues" until they have beta 2. "We're close enough to beta 2 that we won't be making changes unless the problem is very very serious. By only reporting the most serious of issues you will give us the time we need to investigate these before we release Beta 2 instead of having to wade through reports of things that ultimately we don't have time to fix anyway. Thanks for your help in this area."

You don't have to read very far between the lines to spot the coding team with the unmissable deadline looming; unless something really bad shows up, the 21st is the day.

It's also worth noting that the build number itself is probably pretty close to the latest build Microsoft is likely to have internally at this juncture. When it released 2446 to external testers earlier this month it was already several builds further on, but last week's leak of 2454 to the outside world was pretty current code, and the company reportedly had made 2456 by the end of last week. It being - surely - the last externally released build before beta 2, 2458 will probably give us the best picture yet of what Microsoft intends the shipping product to be. ®

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