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Xbox beta slips a notch

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The Xbox development schedule has slipped a notch, but not enough yet to delay the launch this autumn, and Microsoft says development is still on track. According to a report in today's Financial Times, the beta of the Xbox SDK, which was due in March, has yet to ship.

As yet, that's only a matter of a few days. But the paper reports that Microsoft is telling developers it doesn't know when the SDK will actually show up.

Whether or not that's really bad or depends on whether Redmond really doesn't know, or whether it's just being tight-lipped. And although Microsoft is well known for delays, they tend to come in two different varieties, depending on the kind of product that's involved.

Easy 'minor rev' type products like Win9x derivatives or - oh yes - WinXP have slippage in the beta programme but generally make it to RTM at approximately the time first thought of. Hard products like NT, Win2k or Win95, first impression cause massive pain and can slip whole years. We can't be entirely sure what kind of product Xbox is, but if Microsoft has any sense, surely it must be an easy. ®

Related item:
FT story

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