Gartner Group : Use Beta 2 to Get to Know Windows Vista and 2007 Office System

Gartner Group encourages users to start testeing / evaluating the Beta 2 releases od Windows Vista and Office 2007 …

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Beta 2 is always a major milestone for new Microsoft products. Stable, compatible and successful beta 2 releases are integral to Microsoft’s ability to hit its target dates and ship Windows and Office on time.

For many businesses, beta 2 of Windows Vista and Office 2007 will mean that serious testing has commenced. The amount of testing you should plan for will depend on how quickly you intend to adopt Windows Vista and Office 2007 when final versions become available. While we think Microsoft will meet its target date for shipping Office, we are skeptical that it will meet its target for shipping Windows (see "Windows Vista Unlikely to Ship Before 2Q07"). The quality of these betas will be major indicators of Microsoft’s ability to make its dates.

For the first time, Microsoft will address the issue of testing the new products without installing them. Version 5 of the Application Compatibility Toolkit, a beta of which is now available, will include agents that can be run on Windows 2000 and XP PCs, and will look for behavior not allowed in Windows Vista. The Office toolkit will pick up where the Access 2003 Conversion Kit left off and can create alerts to problem files, even on PCs without Office installed, but the beta is not yet widely available.