Windows 2000 Beta 3 Release Candidate 0 Ships

Microsoft Corp. officials on Wednesday confirmed the release of Windows 2000 Beta 3 Release Candidate 0.

RC0 ships today to 1,000 select software vendors and OEMs, and it will be available to Rapid Deployment Partners at Microsoft's technical beta site, said Jonathan Perera, lead product manager for Windows 2000 Server.

Perera characterized the enhancements in Beta 3 RC0 as "fit-and-finish work, aimed at setup and ease of use."

Specifically, Perera said Microsoft (MSFT) made three major enhancements based on feedback from the second beta: a setup wizard for deploying Active Directory; driver support for additional multimedia devices; and terminal services integrated more closely with the operating system.

"The purpose of RC0 is to get detailed technical feedback," Perera said. "Across the board, I would expect a user to have a much easier time with setup of the OS."

The wizard function for Active Directory was under consideration before Windows 2000 Beta 2 shipped.

"The feedback from Beta 2 accelerated our desire to get it checked in," Perera said. "Suffice it to say, if you wanted to set up Active Directory on Beta 2, it was tough. This makes it much easier."

The release of RC0 does not mean that Beta 3 will ship before the expected February time frame. Indeed, multiple Release Candidates can be expected.

"We just want to demonstrate to customers that we're on track for a first-quarter 1999 release of Beta 3," Perera said.

Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., is at


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