'Whidbey' Beta 2 Expected Late March

Sources close to the development of Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidbey, are indicting that a second beta is in the cards for late March or early April. The beta release may be given a "Go Live" license that clears the way for developers to roll out solutions built with Whidbey.

If the Beta 2 timeframe, first reported by eWeek, is forecasted correctly, its progress augurs well for a release candidate to arrive by mid-September.

However, predicting Whidbey's beta schedule has been a slippery slope. Earlier estimates called for the second beta to be completed in February, in time for the VSLive! Conference.


The last major build of Whidbey was shipped to testers in December as a Community Technology Preview (CTP).

Microsoft refused to comment on specific dates, but told BetaNews that, "Our plan is to release Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 in Q1 of 2005 and to ship Visual Studio 2005 in the summer of 2005."

Some industry insiders predict a delay in Whidbey translates to a related delay in the Longhorn wave of products, even the upcoming operating system itself, due to dependencies. Specifically, Whidbey's delay would affect Yukon, Microsoft's next-generation SQL Server, as well as a bevy of other products that are on the horizon.

Orcas, a future build of Visual Studio, and Office 12 are set to find their roots in Whidbey. A new crop of Office 12 server products and enterprise server products will rely on Yukon storage technologies and Whidbey as a backend for developers. Microsoft is also expected to extend Office 12 vertically using managed code from Visual Studio.

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