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Microsoft delays Windows 2000 beta

Microsoft has delayed the third beta of Windows 2000 for a week, but users should start seeing versions of the operating system soon under early adopter programs.

Microsoft has delayed the third beta of Windows 2000 for a week, but users should start seeing versions of the operating system soon under early adopter programs.

The third beta of Windows 2000 won't be sent to computer manufacturers until April 26 and to beta testers on April 28, according to BetaNews, a Web site for beta testers. The release will come exactly a week later than the earlier release date of April 21.

Although work remains to be done of the software, Microsoft will roll out programs so that at least some buyers will be able to get their hands on this early version. Computer makers will install Beta 3 will on certain computer models, according to BetaNews, and include a certificate for a free upgrade.

"Microsoft hopes the businesses will test the new software so by the time October rolls around they will be prepared to make the switch to the new OS," the site said.

Microsoft will also announce a "corporate partnership" program that will permit corporate users to buy the beta and upgrade later, BetaNews said. The corporate partnership program is slated to be announced on April 19.

Officially, Windows 2000 is slated to ship toward the end of the year. Beta testers have pegged the release for October, but the company has been hesitant to fix a date, especially because the project has slipped before.