Windows Beta Versions

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Windows NT 5.0 Beta Releases

Background: "Windows NT 5.0" was the original in-development name for Windows 2000. The name was changed to "Windows 2000" in Beta 3 (around version 5.00.1946 to be specific). While early test builds of Windows NT 5 were very similar to Windows NT 4, they gradually began to develop their own visual and sound elements.


WARNING: The sounds used in this startup are very loud, so please turn down your volume before watching the video.

Nicknames: "The User Is Listening", "THX, Windows Style", "The Most Interesting Way To Start Your Computer Experience"

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Logo: Just the Windows logo on a nighttime background like the one in the NT Workstation 4.0 startup, with all of the text. The only exception is that 4.0 is replaced with 5.0. "Beta 1/2/3 etc." and "Evaluation Copy" are placed on the side.

FX/SFX: None.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): A rather loud whoosh that sounds similar to the THX Deep Note that segues into a beeping melody.

Shutdown Sound (Music Sounds): Same as the Windows NT 4.0 shutdown sound.

Availability: Extremely rare. Windows NT 5 releases were originally only available to participants of Microsoft's beta testing programs, but copies of certain builds have since leaked to the beta community. Builds known to be available of NT 5 are build 1729 (the Interim Developer's Release), build 1877 (Beta 2), build 1902 (Beta 2), and build 1906 (Beta 2), among other earlier and later builds that may or may not have this specific startup.

Scare Factor: Medium to high for the startup. The sudden startup noise on a blank desktop is more than enough to startle someone.

Windows Neptune

Background: Neptune was to be Microsoft's next-generation operating system targeted at home users. It differed from previous consumer-oriented Windows versions in that it was built on the Windows NT code base. However, Neptune was shelved and home users were treated to Windows ME instead.
Windows Neptune
Nicknames: "Rainbow Dots","Dots from Neptune"

Logo: We see dots of different colors (red,gold,green,light blue (only a dot)and blue) and the text "Microsoft Neptune under construction".

FX/SFX: The progress bar and the top bar moving.

Music/Sounds: Same as the Windows 2000 sounds.

Availability: Near extinction, as it is only available on Neptune build 5.50.5111. Other builds may exist, but only the existence of this one has been proven. 5111 is the only leaked build, and it's NOT easy to find.

Scare Factor: None.

Windows 2000 (Beta 3 onwards)

Background: From version 5.00.1946 onwards, "Windows NT 5" donned its new and more familiar name, Windows 2000. The visual and sound elements, however, continued to evolve.

1st Logo
(5.00.1946-1969 (possibly until build 1982)), (1997-1999)

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Startup Screen (Beta 3, Version 5.00.1946) (1997)Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Shutdown Screen (Beta 3, Version 5.00.1946) (1997)

Logo: On a blue background (same color as the desktop), a dialog box type screen is seen. The Windows logo appears surrounded by a partial orange square border in the upper left. On the left center, a pale two-tone inset orange box is seen. Clouds are seen in the upper center, and a dark green two-tone inset square is seen in the lower right next to a gray trail. "Microsoft" appears in the lower left corner of the clouds in a small font. Underneath that is the words "Windows2000." Still underneath that is the word "Professional" in a slightly smaller font. The Microsoft logo appears in the upper right corner of the white portion of this box. Underneath the graphics is a gradient blue bar that continually moves to the right. Still underneath that are the words "Starting up..." To the right of the words is the all-too-familiar "download bar." This entire box is surrounded by a black border.

Shutdown Variant: A dialog box, with a slightly somewhat rearranged positioning of the above elements. The Microsoft logo is absent from the upper right corner. Underneath the now-still gradient bar, the words "It is now safe to turn off your computer." appear in a gray area.

FX/SFX: The gradient bar moving, the "download bar" incrementing. None for the shutdown version.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): The same beeping arpeggio from the NT 5 startup sound, but faster and high-pitched, and backed by a chorus pad. Much more pleasant than the original startup sound.

Shutdown Sound (Music/Sounds): A somewhat loud, hard-to-describe whoosh, not unlike a muffled bomb at the end. Not pleasant at all.

Availability: Extremely rare. Seen from version 5.00.1946 to at most 5.00.1978 (or possibly 5.00.1982). Builds 1946, 1964, 1965 and 1969 have been leaked. The next leaked build, 1983, introduced a new startup screen. The rest of the builds are presumed lost at this time. Some, however, like build 1978, are mentioned in Google Groups discussions.

Scare Factor: None for the startup version. Low to medium for the shutdown version, as most would not likely be expecting the sudden whoosh.

Windows Whistler

Background: "Whistler" was the in-development name for Windows XP after the Neptune and Odyssey projects were scrapped/merged.

1st Logo
Whistler Beyond (1999)Windows Beta Versions - CLG WikiWindows Whistler (Build 2267)Windows Whistler (Build 2474)

Nicknames: "The White Flag", "The Coloured Progress Bar", "Scrapped Windows XP"

Logo: Just a white version of the Windows logo of the time on a black background, with "Whistler" and "Beyond" (faintly) in the corporate font below it.

  • In the Windows Whistler Build 2267,the logo is coloured and progress bar is different.
  • Starting in the Build 2474. The logo changes to the white Windows XP logo
FX/SFX: The coloured (or circular) progress bar.

Startup Sound (Music/Sounds): The Windows 2000 or Windows XP theme, depending on the build.

Shutdown Sound (Music/Sounds): Same As Windows 2000.

Availability: Very rare. Seen on Windows Whistler Builds and Betas.

Scare Factor: None to low. It depends on which startup and shutdown sounds. The shutdown is none to minimal. While sudden, the second half is very relaxing.

Windows Longhorn

Background: Windows Longhorn is the codename of beta builds of Windows Vista

1st Screen

Windows Longhorn (Build 4051)

Windows Longhorn

Nicknames: "The White Flag II"

Logo: We see the words "Windows Code Name Longhorn" and the White version of the Windows Logo.

Variant:A small version of the logo and the text "Microsoft Windows Code Name Longhorn".

FX/SFX: The progress bar.

  • Startup: Same as the XP Startup.
  • Shutdown: Same As the XP Shutdown.
Availability: Rare. Seen on Windows Longhorn, and Windows Vista Beta.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. The chant might scare a few, but this is a soothing screen.

Windows 7

Windows 7 (Under construction variant)Windows 7 Build 6801 Boot Screen

Logo: We see the words "Starting Windows" and the progress bar.

Variant: We see the Windows 2007-2012 logo, the text "Windows 7",the progress bar and the text "Under Construction" below.

FX/SFX: The progress bar.

Music/Sounds: Same as the Windows Vista startup and shutdown.

Availability: Fairly rare. Seen in the Betas of Windows 7.

Scare Factor:None, unless the sudden sound scares you.

Windows 8

Windows 8 (fish variant)

Nicknames: "Fish of Annoyance"

Logo: We see a fish on a blue square and the circular dots spinning around as the screen loads.

FX/SFX: The progress bar.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous OS.

Availability: Ultra rare. Seen in betas of Windows 8.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. The fish may get to some,but it is very repetitive so it can become annoying.