More than a third of Microsoft's employees in Redmond have worked directly or indirectly on the product, which is likely to run most of the world's computers in the coming decade. It's also the first PC operating system to be released since Microsoft made security and reliability top priorities.
Today's beta is a landmark in the development process of the next generation operating system, as it provides a polished version that can be run and tested by programmers and computer makers. It is now possible to start building Vista-based products, so that these products can be ready to go on sale when Vista arrives properly in 2006.
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