Tomorrow Microsoft will unveil the first beta version of Longhorn. This is the next-generation operating system from Microsoft that will be launched next year as Windows Vista. Although Microsoft chose to call it Vista on Friday, the Longhorn codename will still be used for this beta version and possibly also for later beta versions.
The Longhorn Beta 1 will offer beta testers a look at the new operating system and a first glimpse at Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). WinBeta heard Microsoft did its best to support as much hardware as possible, some sources even suggest 50 percent of the Longhorn beta 1 build will be purely drivers.
WinBeta estimates the new build (possible build 5112) will be larger than 2GB.
We have also had unconfirmed reports that there will be waves of 15,000 testers who will get access to the new build every day. There are currently 100,000 beta testers that have already been advised by Microsoft of their inclusion in the beta program. Beta testers will get access to the download in waves to allow access without crushing download servers.
All the beta 1 invitations have already been sent out. If you have not received one, then you may be invited in one of the subsequent waves of testers to be added. Don't give up hope of being added just yet...1,000 invites a week will be emailed out during the course of Beta 1.
WinBeta also heard MSDN users will be able to get their hands on Longhorn on August 3rd. More details at WinBeta. If you are interested in receiving invitations from Microsoft to test beta software you can subscribe here at Microsoft Connect.