As Longhorn Schedule Firms Up, Product Packaging Evolves: "Additionally, many of the product names will change. For example, today's Tablet PC Edition will likely adopt a name that is more applicable to general mobility and not specific to Tablet PC devices. Or, sources say, the Tablet PC features might simply be melded into the core OS. Microsoft would like to use more descriptive and friendly names for its Windows products and provide more overlapping functionality between the product versions. It's all up in the air, though the company expects to finalize the product types and distinctions by Q2 2005.
What's not up in the air, however, is Longhorn's ship date. The company is now committed internally to shipping Longhorn in May 2006. To meet this date, Microsoft has scheduled a March 16, 2005 Beta 1 release and a Q3 2005 Beta 2 release that will coincide with September's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005 event in Los Angeles. Longhorn will then experience three release candidate builds, RC0, RC1, and RC2, before shipping in May 2006."