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In this week's CodeGuru newsletter, I posted an editorial titled "Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 'Release Date' Confusion". I include that editorial here.
Unfortunately, people want dates. They want to know when to expect things. Up until now, Microsoft had been stating that Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005 would be released by the end of March. As such, most people assumed that it would release March 31st and start showing up the first week of April.
The first week of April has come and gone. April 1st is April Fools day. Maybe the joke is on all of us!
This past week, one Web page on the Microsoft site does give implications as to when the beta will be released. This page on Microsoft's site is counting down to a release on the 25th of April. Unfortunately, this is not — repeat, not — a countdown to the beta. Rather, in talking to several people at Microsoft, this is a countdown to a new program - the Beta Experience Program.
Will the 25th of April be the day the beta is released?
I've asked about the page and the date. The official answer as of yesterday was that there was not a set release date at this time for Beta 2. Rather, I was told that the latest code drops are in the final stages, and that Microsoft will ship the beta when the criteria for a "Go Live" release have been met.
"Go Live" is — in simple terms — is a way for developers to be able to deploy applications created with Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 without violating any licensing agreement. If you read the licensing agreement on the beta, you are likely to find that you are not allowed to put any applications into production use. "Go Live" allows a way for Visual Studio 2005 beta applications to be launched onto the Web.
So, in summary, there is confusion as to when Beta 2 will be released. It isn't going to happen by the end of March. Will it happen by the 25th? No official confirmation has been given; however, things are looking like the release will be very soon. Personally, I'd rather wait a few extra weeks and know that the product will be much more stable!
If you look at the above page, you should also be forewarned that "6-weekly" means every six weeks. It does not mean "once a week for six weeks". More than one person has been confused by that statement already!
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