Will it ever ship? Officials from Microsoft Corporation confirmed today that Windows 2000 Beta 3--originally scheduled for an April 21 release and then delayed to April 28--will now ship by the end of Friday instead.

Windows 2000 Beta 3, says Windows 2000 product manager Jonathan Perera, is "feature complete" and will include a host of simplicity features, new security features, a "three click" upgrade from Windows NT 4.0, and memory protection. Microsoft will officially "announce" the release of Beta 3 Thursday at 11 a.m. PST.

Windows 2000--like the OS it replaces, Windows NT 4.0--is designed solely for business desktops, mobile users, and servers. There is no version available for home users/gamers/consumers. Microsoft will be releasing a new version of Windows 9x sometime in 2000 to address the home market