Microsoft already has floated several early Community Technology Preview (CTP) test builds of its Ajax toolkit. But on October 20, the company finally hit the Beta 1 milestone with "Atlas," the product known known as Microsoft ASP.Net Ajax v 1.0.
Microsoft is making the Beta 1 bits available for download to any interested testers.
Unlike previous builds, the new Ajax toolkit supports Apple's Safari browser. Opera browser support isn't part of this build but is coming, according to Scott Guthrie, a general manager with Microsoft's developer division.
Robert McLaws, head of the WindowsNow Microsoft-enthusiast site, blogged that he was as interested in the Atlas team's distribution concepts as the actual product.
"'Atlas' had a ton of functionality in it. It was a constantly moving platform, but the ASP.NET team had prototyped a bunch of cool things that made the platform really interesting. Well, in moving to a release product, Microsoft cut some of those features from the officially-supported first release. But instead of ripping them out of the V1 release all together, they moved it into another 'value-added' CTP release and shipped them anyways," McLaws explained.
Guthrie said Microsoft's plan is to release a beta refresh "in a few weeks," then ship a release-candidate build, and "then ship it as a fully supported 1.0 release once people feel it is ready."
Guthrie said in September that Microsoft's goal was to ship the Atlas 1.0 release before the end of calendar 2006.