Microsoft Unveils Post-RC3 W2K Build

Microsoft Corp. ( unveiled a post-Release Candidate (RC) 3 release -- build 2194 -- of Windows 2000 on its NT Beta site ( RC3 shipped as build 2183.

In October, the software giant confirmed that Windows 2000 RC3 was the last release candidate that it planned to issue to the public before it releases Windows 2000 to manufacturing in late December 1999.

Even with the new post-RC3 build of Windows 2000, sources do not expect Microsoft to deviate from its official position, however.

"When you're doing beta test code and you're working closely with a relatively small number of people, it's very likely that you'll be testing different approaches to solving problems that have been found by beta testers, even up to the last minute," explains Dan Kusnetzky, director of worldwide operating environments for International Data Corp. (IDC, "There's a large flurry of activity right before a final product launch, and every product team is trying to make sure that their product has as few remaining issues as possible."

Kusnetzky says that it's unlikely that Microsoft would release an RC4 version of its Windows 2000 products.

For its part, Windows 2000 RC3 corrected a number of lingering issues with Microsoft's next-generation operating system (OS). Microsoft provided substantially enhanced device driver support and also corrected an IRQ steering problem that could lead to difficulties with PCI devices such as network interface cards and SCSI and video adapters that leverage a technology called bus-mastering.

Most significantly missing from Windows 2000 RC3 is an in-memory database (IMDB) that provided an additional layer of cache memory designed to enhance performance between the OS and stored data. Microsoft acknowledged that it was yanking the IMDB from Windows 2000 because of lingering stability and reliability issues.

Windows 2000 is expected to ship by February 17, 2000. -- Stephen Swoyer

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.