Thanks to William Ricci for the tip: According to a report on IDG.NET, which has obtained an internal Microsoft email, the release date for Windows 2000 has been set to October 6, 1999. This verifies information I've received from two other sources, which pegged October as the time for the final release. It also contradicts the public statements that Microsoft makes about the release, which it says will occur when its customers tell them Windows 2000 is ready. The reality here, of course, is that all upcoming Microsoft products are on a development timeline. While some changes have been made in the past to the release schedule of important products such as Windows, many products (Visual Studio 6.0, Internet Explorer 4.0, etc.) are simply declared "finished" when their time comes. And more often then not, a slew of updates and bug fixes follows in their wake. Microsoft, mindful of the fact that Windows 2000 needs to be as reliable as possible, has delayed the product a few times in the past year: It was originally schedule to ship in late 1998..

Major upheavals at Microsoft, however, have gotten Windows 2000 on track with a realistic release schedule. The changes began in December with the removal of Moshe Dunie and the subsequent rise of Brian Valentine as the person directly responsible for Windows 2000. Since then, a clear-cut schedule has been established and the first milestone--Windows 2000 Beta 3 Release Candidate 1 (RC1)--was released right on schedule last week. The next milestone--Beta 3--is due April 21st.

"Our credibility is on the line here," Valentine told the Windows 2000 team in January, referring to the March 17th release for Beta 3 RC1. "We have to deliver." Well, they made the first milestone. Time will tell if Microsoft can keep to the rest of its latest schedule while making Windows 2000 as reliable and worthwhile as possible