Satisfied with the progress of Windows 2000, Microsoft will issue Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of the next-generation client/server operating system in late June, a high-ranking executive said Monday.
Senior Vice President James Allchin, who heads up the company's Business and Enterprise Division, said at a briefing for International Data Group editors and reporters that Windows 2000 Professional, Server, and Advanced Server are still on target for a 1999 release, pending positive beta tester feedback.
"I haven't seen anything that in any way makes me worried," Allchin said.
A high-end, scalable version, Windows 2000 Datacenter, is also in the works, but is not expected to be ready for release until several months after the other products ship. Windows 2000 Server is the upgrade to NT Server 4.0, and Professional is the update to Windows NT Workstation. NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition has been renamed Advanced Server. Allchin described the Beta 3 of the oft-delayed Windows 2000 as "very reliable," although he acknowledged that the system still suffered numerous problems dealing with installation. "Reliability, once installed, should be very good," he said.
RC1 will be released to testers in late June, or perhaps early July, Allchin said. He added that Release Candidate 2 (RC2) would follow the first release candidate by six to eight weeks, and after that Microsoft plans to release the operating system to manufacturing. That final version, ready for "gold code," will include features and updates that will be in a yet-to-be-released Service Pack 6 for NT 4.0.
Microsoft engineers also are producing daily builds of a 64-bit version of Windows 2000, designed for the Intel Merced architecture. Allchin said the 64-bit Windows would be completed well after Windows 2000 ships.
Under the recent Microsoft reorganisation, Allchin is responsible for Business and Enterprise development, Consumer Windows, and Streaming Media advancements. Of those, though, Windows 2000 has top priority.
"I would say they are all equal in my mind," Allchin said. "I have been spending a lot of my time on Windows 2000, though." www.microsoft.com.