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WinHEC Goody Bag Includes Another Longhorn Preview

SEATTLE -- Attendees to Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference this week were treated to a kit of DVDs, including one eagerly awaited item -- another pre-beta version of the Windows Longhorn operating system.

It's the second major build release of Longhorn at a WinHEC show and the third such release overall. Microsoft's first pre-beta release went to developers at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in October 2003. Another version got handed out to the ISV and IHV audience at the 2004 WinHEC last spring.

The latest preview, build 5048, once again does not include the new "Aero" interface, which Microsoft demonstrated during chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates' keynote on Monday. The latest build does come in 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The first public beta of Longhorn is scheduled for this summer and will be aimed at IT administrators. The look-and-feel elements of Longhorn aren't expected to be polished until the Beta 2 release, which will be distributed to the general public.

WinHEC attendees also received driver kits for Longhorn and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

The conference served as the formal launch of Microsoft's Windows x64 editions, and all attendees received a copy of Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition and also were to get copies of Windows XP x64 Professional Edition after filling out conference evaluation forms.

Although physical media won't be distributed at WinHEC, Microsoft also plans to use the show to launch the Windows Server 2003 "R2" public beta. When the code is ready, it will be available at the following address:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/r2.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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