A small blurb in my "Short Takes" article last week managed to generate a firestorm of controversy over the weekend, leading me to wonder what would have happened if I hadn't clearly labeled it as a rumor. The number of responses, shall we say, was overwhelming. I heard from everyone: People inside Microsoft. People who work with Microsoft. I heard from Microsoft's public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom. It was that kind of weekend. Maybe this is a good time to take a quick look at Millennium and find out what the story is. Besides, many of you are wondering where my review of Beta 1 is at. It's time for an answer.
Of all the responses I got about the rumor, the one that mattered most to me came from Frank Kane, the Waggener Edstrom representative working on the Windows Millennium account. Frank assured me that Millennium is not cancelled and that the product is on track for release sometime in 2000. That's good news, of course, but I was a little more concerned about not receiving Beta 1 from Microsoft: The plan was for me to work closely with members of the Consumer Windows team to publicize Windows Millennium. As many of you realize, I was hoping to post a massive review of Millennium as well as some technology showcases by this time. This precludes me from joining the technical beta, but I did this with the understanding that I would be working closely with Microsoft.
Thankfully, all is well: Frank told me that Microsoft is not making Beta 1 available to the press because it is an early build that doesn't necessarily reflect how the final product is going to look. I'll be one of the first to get Beta 2, he told me, and we're all set to go forward with some incredible Millennium coverage on the SuperSite once Beta 2 is ready. I don't have a firm date on this (no one does, yet) but I'd expect it around the end of the year. In the meantime, I'll get the SuperSite ready for some Millennium content so I can drop it in as soon as Beta 2 is ready.