Full-featured test version of Vista due this week

Microsoft this week plans to release a feature-complete test version of Windows Vista.

Microsoft this week is expected to release another build of its Windows Vista OS, one that should be feature-complete according to a plan laid out by Jim Allchin, co-president of the Platforms, Products & Services Division, in January.

The Windows Vista team has scheduled a conference call Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time to discuss Windows Vista development. Microsoft began updating the press about the progress of the OS in late November, updates that coincide with Microsoft's release of a Windows Vista Community Test Preview (CTP), or interim build.

Allchin said in January that the Vista CTP due this week is the second in a three-phase Beta 2 cycle that began with a CTP released in December. At the time, Allchin said that a test version of Vista released in the first quarter of 2006 would be feature-complete. Another CTP expected to be released in the second quarter will be the third and final release in the beta cycle of the OS, he also said.

Microsoft has been releasing CTPs of Windows Vista since September 2005 in an attempt to get feedback on the product earlier and more often than any previous Windows releases. The company released the first full-fledged beta of Vista on July 27, 2005, and expects to make the OS generally available in November or December of this year.

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