Microsoft is shooting for an initial beta release of Longhorn around midyear, though it could be July, as the new official schedule is “early summer.” A second beta is planned, though no final date has been given, with the goal of having the OS broadly available on PCs by next year’s holiday season. Longhorn will come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. An updated developer preview version will be given out at WinHEC, set to take place at month’s end in Seattle. Microsoft is recommending that systems have 512MB of memory, as well as “today’s level” of processor. There will be different levels of display quality depending on how much graphics horsepower a computer has. The richest view, code-named Aero Glass has the heftiest graphics requirements but recent tests show it might not require as much horsepower as originally thought. Another view, Aero, will have slightly lower requirements and offer many, but not all, of the features. Finally, a minimal user interface will look fairly similar to current versions of Windows. Microsoft is continuing to tinker with different interfaces and their requirements.

Microsoft is shooting for an initial beta release of Longhorn around midyear, though it could be July, as the new official schedule is “early summer.” A second beta is planned, though no final date has been given, with the goal of having the OS broadly available on PCs by next year’s holiday season. Longhorn will come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. An updated developer preview version will be given out at WinHEC, set to take place at month’s end in Seattle. Microsoft is recommending that systems have 512MB of memory, as well as “today’s level” of processor. There will be different levels of display quality depending on how much graphics horsepower a computer has. The richest view, code-named Aero Glass has the heftiest graphics requirements but recent tests show it might not require as much horsepower as originally thought. Another view, Aero, will have slightly lower requirements and offer many, but not all, of the features. Finally, a minimal user interface will look fairly similar to current versions of Windows. Microsoft is continuing to tinker with different interfaces and their requirements.