Microsoft Puts Stock in Longhorn

The first beta of the Windows client could be released at Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference in October; Blackcomb road map also given.

NEW ORLEANS—Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday laid out the current road map for the release of its upcoming Longhorn client release, the upgrade to Windows XP.

The company plans to get the momentum going around Longhorn at its Professional Developer Conference in October, where many expect the first beta to be released. Microsoft will release a limited pre-beta of the Longhorn code at that conference, which developers can use to start to build applications against. The two formal Longhorn betas will follow in 2004, with the release to manufacturing expected in 2005, Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows client, said on Wednesday.

In his keynote address titled "How We Achieve Life Immersion" at the (WinHEC) here, Poole also addressed speculation that Microsoft could have an interim client release before Longhorn, saying this is unlikely and there currently are no plans for this.

"Im sure many of you have wondered if we are going to do an interim release before Longhorn. That is something I dont expect us to do," Poole said. "While the road from now to Longhorn is not super-short and we have a lot of things to do to get there, what you will see are a couple of major milestones on the way.

"The next major milestone from a developer perspective will be our Professional Developer Conference, so I urge you all to make sure the right people are attending PDC and get fully wired into the program as we begin that path to getting the product completed. This will be kicked off in-depth at the PDC in October," he said.