Microsoft is planning to release the much-delayed Beta 2 release of Windows NT 5.0 in mid-April. Originally due in December or January, Windows NT 5.0 Beta 2 will determine the feature-set for the final release of the product, now expected in late 1998. When Microsoft shipped the first beta of NT 5.0 last September, it was rushed out the door to meet a developer event deadline and many features were lacking or poorly implemented. The Beta 2 release is expected to be far more similar to the spirit of the final release.

Microsoft says that while the Beta 2 release may not include every feature from the final version, that final feature-set will be determined by then. Expected in Beta 2 are IntelliMirror, a computer management product, and better-integrated management facilities.

Along with Windows NT 5.0, Microsoft hopes to ship BackOffice 5.0, a new version of its enterprise server suite that will take advantage of NT 5.0-specific features such as Active Directory. BackOffice 5.0 servers will all use the same management console used by Windows NT 5.0, allowing administrators to use one tool to manage all of their servers