Longhorn making its way to testing

Microsoft is closing in on the delivery of the first full test versions of Longhorn, nearly 18 months after it distributed a developer preview of the new operating system.

Next month, a preview version of the client release of Longhorn will be distributed at the company's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle. A more full-fledged beta is expected by mid-year

And, later this year, a beta version of Longhorn server will make its way to testers, Microsoft's Jeff Price said on Wednesday.

Despite a gap of nearly five years between major Windows releases, Microsoft is expected to face a tough sell for Longhorn. Many Windows users see the current release, Windows XP, as "good enough" for most tasks they need to perform.

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    Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.

     

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