It's hard to find just the right words...something like a horse race announcer's "Down the stretch they come!"  Beta 3, posted yesterday, downloaded more than 2000 times just in the first twelve hours, has arrived.

This is the third, and last, public beta planned for the Notes/Domino 8 cycle.  It is a "production" build, which means that the debug code that was in prior betas is gone.  You should see much better performance -- the early comments here and in the beta forum seem to confirm this -- and a lot of fit-and-finish work.

Other bits -- Vista support is now ready for testing.  RHEL isn't offiically there yet, but will be at general availability.  The terminology around the "basic" configuration has been cleared up (you'll notice that the term "standard" is basically gone).

There's still a lot of work ahead in the next several weeks.  IBMers have started updating to beta 3 in our internal deployment.  License terms and entitlements are being finalized.  Marketing plans are being finished.

I have been part of every Notes release since 4.0.  I've been excited by a lot of them.  But I have to say, this time, it feels like a whole different level.  I was thinking earlier today, even with blogging during the 6.5 and 7.0 cycles, this is the first release where talking about the beta is all I -want- to do every day.  I discover new things every day, and I (and my colleagues) will be covering more in the coming weeks.  Right up to the finish line.

OK, so where is that finish line?  Can't say quite yet.  Of course we have an internal target, and I'm confident enough in it to have scheduled a vacation starting that day.  But we need your feedback to finish this up, and make Notes 8 successful in every way possible.  Simultaneously, work on 8.0.1, "Domino Next", and beyond is already in progress.  

But let's focus on now.  If you're excited, now would be the time to start saying so.  I would love to get five readers to agree to be press references on 8.0.  Who will be first?

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