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Fully featured beta of Vista due this week

Second in a three-phase cycle

Microsoft is expected this week to release another build of its Windows Vista OS (operating system), one that should be feature-complete, according to a plan laid out by Jim Allchin, co-president of the firm's platforms, products and services division, in January.

The Windows Vista team has scheduled a conference call today at 6.30 pm to discuss Vista development. Microsoft began updating the press about the progress of the OS in late November, updates that coincide with Microsoft's release of a Windows Vista CTP (Community Test Preview), or interim build.

Allchin said in January that the Vista CTP due this week is the second in a three-phase Beta 2.0 cycle that began with a CTP released in December. At the time, Allchin said that a test version of Vista released in the first quarter of 2006 would be feature-complete. Another CTP expected to be released in the second quarter will be the third and final release in the beta cycle of the OS, he also said.

Microsoft has been releasing CTPs of Vista since September 2005 in an attempt to get feedback on the product earlier and more often than with any previous Windows releases. The company released the first full-fledged beta of Vista on 27 July 2005, and expects to make the OS generally available in November or December of this year.


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