On Tuesday, Microsoft have released their first official beta version of Microsoft Whistler, the successor to Windows 2000.
This week they will begin shipping their CD versions to an additional 200,000 testers who subscribe to the Microsoft Developer Network service. They will be delivering desktop versions of the operating system first followed by server versions later. Multiple desktop and server versions will appear in the second half of 2001.
The phased approach was a concious decision made by Microsoft to hold back from releasing their client versions before its server ones and that they have focussed on the delivery of Windows 2000 foundation technologies and dependability on consumer space. Whistler beta 1 will be the 64-bit version of Windows that will be made available to early evaluators of Intel's itanium systems and the later versions will include more of a visual design.