Delayed Windows Millennium beta ships

Delayed Windows Millennium beta ships

About 5000 beta testers didn't receive their CD-ROMs containing the debut beta of Windows Millennium last week as expected. But Microsoft sent beta 1 out the door Tuesday morning, after a three-day delay.

Except for a select group of testers, however, Windows Millennium is keeping a low profile. Neither the public nor the press will get a peek now at the successor to Windows 95/98, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

There's little visible difference, Microsoft representatives note. Microsoft changed its earlier plans to revise the Windows interface with this update to the consumer edition. The interface will have some new elements and provide some home networking and digital media, but it will look much like the current version.

"The finishing touches went on [the beta] early last week," the spokesperson confirmed. "It took a little longer than expected."

The final release of Millennium -- the code name for the consumer version of Windows -- is expected to ship sometime "in the year 2000", according to Microsoft representatives. At this point, that is about as specific as officials are willing to get.

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