Microsoft yesterday confirmed that Release Candidate 1 of the third and final beta of Windows 2000 has been made available to a select group of technical beta testers.
The company released Release Candidate 0 in late December to about 16,000 beta testers, and has been working on RC1 since then. RC1's release had been promised by the middle to end of March, and it was quietly made available to about 16,000 beta testers last Wednesday, a company spokesman said. Microsoft uses the term "Release Candidate" to refer to code clean enough to release to a larger group of beta testers. The third beta of Windows 2000 will go out to 200,000 or more test sites, and may eventually include 1 million individuals testing the code.
Release of RC1 puts Microsoft on track to deliver beta three sometime next month, a company spokesman said. While a Release Candidate is only a minor milestone in a product's progress before it's finished, this particular milestone is significant because so many business users have waited anxiously for the third beta.