With the release of Beta 1 this past July 27th, this would have placed the Beta 2 release date towards late January – early February 2006. This has been reported numerous times in various media outlets. In my last conversations with Microsoft staffers, I was told that we could actually expect the release to be pushed back a bit, which would have placed it closer to the end of February or even early March.
Well, surprise surprise. Now comes word (unconfirmed) that Vista Beta 2 is so close to completion that the release date has actually been moved up about 2 months. The date being reported is December 7th. According to Paul Thurrott of WindowsITPro, “Vista Beta 2 is scheduled to be “feature complete” by September 29, 2005. Then, Vista Beta 2 will enter lockdown mode between October and November 9, 2005. After that date, Beta 2 will be in escrow. Microsoft now plans to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 on December 7, 2005.”
As we have reported here, Beta 2 will be available for free to the public through the Customer Preview Program (CPP). Following that release will be a Release Candidate 0 (RC0) and Release Candidate 1 (RC1), also available to the public. According to Thurrott, ” Microsoft will ship Windows Vista Release Candidate 0 (RC0) on April 19, 2006, and Windows Vista RC1 on June 28, 2006. Microsoft currently plans to release Windows Vista to manufacturing on August 9, 2006, and make the product broadly available by November 15, 2006.”