Every now and then I get forewarned of some news, and with due warning not to be the one who breaks it. So I'm saying nothing, but Thursday morning Redmond time (late afternoon in Europe) I'm going to be watching these very closely
Windows Server Division blog
Windows Virtualization team blog
System Center team blog
and of course Press Pass
UPDATE The news is out. The following is straight from the press release
REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 13, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. this morning delivered a holiday surprise for customers and partners, unveiling a public beta for its hypervisor-based server virtualization technology called Hyper-V, a feature with some versions of Windows Server 2008. Customers and partners today can download Windows Server 2008 RC1 Enterprise with the beta version of Hyper-V to evaluate the new technology, test applications and plan future consolidation, business continuity and high-availability projects. The beta was previously expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2008 with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Server 2008. The beta is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/ws08eval.
I got the news when the press release was mailed out 16:30 GMT: however at the time of writing, the original RC-1 build is the only one linked to at the WS08Eval URL. 6001.17051 is the original RC-1 with the CTP. The build with the Beta will be 6001.171xx.
Update 2, There is a separate link from that page to the new build, which is 6001.17119