Windows 98 cleared the beta 3 stage on Friday, when Release Candidate 0 (RC-0 for short) went out. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, RC-0 is not yet quite feature-complete - a departure from general usage of the term 'release candidate'. However, the spokesperson said: "We wanted to indicate that the product is now stable and moving beyond the beta stage."
Microsoft expects there to be probably six to eight more 'release candidates' before the product finally ships. Though some press reports have suggested that the Windows 98 release date has been moved forward to April or May, Microsoft still refuses to be more specific than a "second quarter" ship date.
On 4 April, Microsoft will be promoting its new operating system to an expected 15,000 to 20,000 end users, in a live satellite broadcast to 38 cinemas across the US and Canada. Users will be coaxed to sit through the 45-minute product pitch with the promise of a CD with free software, a T-shirt and free pop corn and soda.
Though attendance of the 'Microsoft Extreme' event is free, Microsoft is asking those interested to register in advance, by phone or at http://www.microsoft.com/magazine/extreme. Microsoft organised a similar but smaller-scale event last November, to promote its Internet Explorer 4.0 product.
Microsoft has denied that the 4 April event will coincide with the official launch of Windows 98.
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