"According to internal documentation I first reviewed in late October, Microsoft is planning an aggressive schedule for its oft-delayed Longhorn successor to Windows XP and will ship the long-awaited Beta 1 release of that operating system on February 16. The latest release schedule notes that Microsoft will begin locking down the code for Beta 1 in early December 2004 and then enter the so-called escrow phase in early January."
"According to sources close to Microsoft, recent release schedules that have popped up on the internet regarding Longhorn are inaccurate and outdated. Today Windows Client Codename 'Longhorn' hit the milestone of M8-2. The next and final milestone before a beta is released is M9 which is currently due on 16th March 2005. Beta 1 of the much anticipated OS is due within May 2005. These new dates paint a picture of Beta 1 being released at this years WinHEC 2005 (late April) if it's indeed ready."