Update: Microsoft's Longhorn becomes Windows Vista

Beta 1 of the new OS will be ready for developers by Aug. 3

Microsoft Corp. has announced the official name for its upcoming operating system, previously known under the code name Longhorn. The operating system, now due out in 2006, will be called Windows Vista, with the tag line "Bringing clarity to your world."

The software company also revealed that Beta 1 of Windows Vista will be available to developers and IT professionals in less than two weeks, by Aug. 3.

The first beta will include only some of Vista's promised functionality, such as virtual folders and a new desktop search engine, but will not include much of the graphical user interface (GUI) enhancements of the finished product, said Greg Sullivan, a group product manager with Windows Client for Microsoft.

Those features will be available in beta 2, Sullivan said. He did not disclose a time frame for that release, saying that depends on the feedback Microsoft receives about beta 1.

Microsoft is also widely expected to release more Vista bits to developers at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles in mid-September, but Sullivan said that has not been decided on yet. "There will certainly be more disclosure on features that will be added post beta 1 [at the PDC]," he said.

Microsoft first disclosed the official name for the next version of Windows yesterday at its annual sales meeting, Microsoft Global Business (MGB), in a presentation by Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System Division. The company made the name change public in a Webcast today.

Microsoft has part of its Web site set up for Vista at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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