Beta 2 of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system may appear this April, after a limited community technology preview (CTP) of the OS is released February.
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The second beta was originally planned to be available before the end of 2005, but this scheduling slipped.
Microsoft said it would instead concentrate on releasing new chunks of the code on a more regular basis via updates and CTPs, and said that Vista was still on course to be released some time in the second half of 2006.
Windows enthusiast websites have recently reported the planned appearance of the February Vista CTP, which Microsoft has confirmed.
It is expected there will be a two-month gap between this CTP and the arrival of Beta 2.
Last year, Microsoft said it planned to release a beta of Vista in early 2006 which would have all the Vista features, before the commercial launch. It is not known whether the April release will be that fully-featured edition.