Windows Vista Beta 1 may ship Wednesday morning

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft is likely to announce tomorrow morning that internal build 5112, 5113, or 5114 of Windows Vista - formerly code-named "Longhorn" - will be released to invited beta participants, a source close to the beta process has told Tom’s Hardware Guide.

The 27 July date, we were told, has been the company’s internal Beta 1 milestone date for some time, exactly one week ahead of the 3 August date Microsoft has reported earlier. Some public statements made by company spokespersons were careful to say the release would come "by August 3." The beta release, it appears, will not be on a wide scale as was the last so-called "public beta" release of Microsoft Office XP. Rather, it will be provided by invitation only to a limited list of participants selected by the company, which may include subscribers to the company’s developer programs.

Microsoft spokespersons declined comment on this news for Tom’s Hardware Guide. The company is currently scheduled to hold an analysts’ briefing this upcoming Thursday. One source told us that a Vista Beta 1 release in advance of this briefing could be seen as both convenient for the company and positive news for shareholders.

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