Microsoft has pushed back Beta 2 of Windows XP two weeks, to March 14, according to a memo leaked to CRN. But the final release is still set for the end of June. What's this mean? Well, they will have RC1 ready some time in April, giving eight solid weeks to release-to-manufacturing (RTM) by May 30. Microsoft's goal for RC2 is to make it a bug fix frenzy, and then release RC3 and finally RTM. According to the article, a memo sent out to Microsoft staff stated that "these milestones are shorter than Windows 2000 - in fact, more like the end game of Win ME because of the similarities of the release. We need each team to sign in blood they will work to ship us in June."
Microsoft is also pushing hard to get Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 out, but the date's not firm yet. The final RC should be released in late March or early April.
I received a billion e-mails concerning the new Windows UI and Apple's Mac OS X UI, and a recent article on MacCentral points out all the facts. According to a developer who was at the recent Microsoft event, "It's almost like Windows ME 2. Or as Apple might call it, Windows Me Too." There are several things to look at here that Microsoft really needs to address before Apple sues their you know what. To begin with, the new UI will be skinnable, and I'm pretty sure not many people will enjoy the new UI and will change it. Also, after looking at the screenshots for Windows XP and going to the Mac OS X Web site to look at screenshots, the new Windows UI seems to me much more appealing and easier to get used to.
Any "newbie" can sit down in front of Windows XP and start using it within minutes, whereas the OS X desktop has a bunch of pictures, and we're supposed to guess what they do.
Looking into the crystal ball, Icrontic.com recently posted an article outlining Blackcomb, Microsoft's fully .NET integrated operating system. This won't be just an OS, but rather will also provide internet-based services for consumers. Again, this is a product planned to be released late next year and all the information around the Internet is much too vague right now.
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