Desktop 64-bit Windows only in pre-beta

According to this story over at The Inquirer, Microsoft passed out pre-beta copies of its 64-bit Windows operating system for AMD's Athlon64 at WinHEC earlier this week. With Athlon64 chips not due from AMD until September, developers are being asked to test the operating system with AMD's current 64-bit Opteron processors.

Concerns over Athlon64s not being available for testing aside, I'm far more worried by the fact that the 64-bit operating system is only in pre-beta. September is less than four months away, which makes me wonder if anything other than a beta or perhaps initial release candidate of Microsoft's 64-bit desktop operating system will be available when the Athlon64 is eventually released.

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