WinXP Beta 2 declared – release slated for noon Sunday PST

PRs from Hell muzzle press till then too, apparently...

Beta 2 of Windows XP was declared yesterday (Friday 23rd), according to Redmond sources, but the switch doesn't get thrown until 12 noon tomorrow, PST. And that's the switch on the press too, apparently - all the usual suspects are embargoed till noon, so expect a spike of suspiciously well prepared looking stories at that time.

As nobody even asked us to sign an NDA, we've no idea what amazing carrot was waved in order to get the cream of the PC press to button it until tomorrow, but they can all have fun getting their first looks and reviews out then. Even the ones who accidentally published their Beta 2 reviews last Wednesday, then unpublished them again when the code didn't show.

There was, our spies tell us, a great party in Redmond last night in celebration of the sign-off, and we have some more information on what went wrong with the Wednesday target ship date. The five show stopper bugs were found last weekend, and the oddly designated build 2462a was essentially an update to the bugged build.

Despite being under great pressure and up against a deadline, the beta team took it slowly and carefully. As we understand it build 2462a could just about have been released as Beta 2 for Wednesday, but instead went through a period of "sanity checking and then some reappraisal" to make sure they'd got it all right, and the fixes worked, and didn't break anything else.

This kind of exercise takes 24-48 hours, which takes us through to Friday, when Beta 2 was declared. The pause until Sunday and the press embargo is in order to avoid a stampede/feeding frenzy, but it's definitely being released to testers then, and MSDN may go out at the same time. ®

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