A WinInfo exclusive: As first reported in WinInfo, Microsoft will release Windows 2000 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) at DevDays 99 Wednesday. And contrary to certain incorrect reports last week, the build number is 2128, not 2125. As I promised in yesterday's report, I won't announce anything this important until it actually happens. Well, it's happening, and you heard it here first.

Windows 2000 RC2 is, of course, the final major beta release for this most important Microsoft operating system. Feature complete since April, Windows 2000 has been winding down to its final release virtually all year. And with this "good as final" RC2 release, Microsoft is finally shaking off the rumors that it won't RTM Windows 2000 this year. And, as previously reported in WinInfo, expect a huge release party for Windows 2000 at Fall Comdex in Las Vegas. Windows 2000 is finally hitting the home stretch.

DevDays 99 attendees will receive Windows 2000 RC2 on CD-ROM at the show Wednesday. Microsoft will release the build to technical beta testers this week, while CPP customers will have access to RC2 in two weeks