Longhorn Bullshit! Or is that Billshit?

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Don't have a cow! Some real bullshit about a Longhorn that's not a bull!

So Longhorn (aka the next version of Windows) is finally going to arrive in late 2006, over two years late, and five years since the last Windows upgrade in October 2001. Worth the wait? You decide! Clue: Most of the features that Microsoft has been promising will make the wait worthwhile won't actually be included in Longhorn. In 2003 at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference (PDC), Redmond indentified the four key technologies which would make up Longhorn. These were the Windows File System (WinFS), Avalon (the new look GUI), Indigo (a new networking and communications layer) and ‘Fundamentals’ (APIs, power management, drivers, application installation, digital rights management and other low level tasks). Most significant of the omissions will be the Windows File System (WinFS), an advanced file management and search system, which was widely regarded as the most compelling component of Longhorn. Of course Mac users are excused if they nod off at this point. Advanced search is, of course, already a part of the Mac OS X 10.4 beta (aka Tiger). Tiger is due to ship next year etc. But I digress... Instead a beta of WinFS is expected to appear at roughly the same time as Longhorn ships, although Microsoft executives are vague about how it soon it would be before a finished version is available with Longhorn. The decision to omit WinFS is particularly embarassing to Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, who has long made it a centrepiece of speechs about Microsoft’s future directions - Information at your Fingertips blah blah, yawn.... Microsoft will also decouple development of Indigo and Avalon (not the soporific Roxy Music album) from Longhorn, but in a 'sweetener' to its customers, it said it will make both technologies available separately to XP and Windows Server 2003 users when they appear, as well as with Longhorn. Er, eventually! In an internal email to Microsoft employees, group vice president of platforms, Jim Allchin, made it clear that WinFS had been dropped from Longhorn to make it shippable in 2006: ‘To ship the Longhorn client in 2006, we will deliver the new Windows storage sub-system, code-named WinFS, separately from the Longhorn release. The WinFS team has been making great progress and the new storage system will be in beta testing when the Longhorn client becomes available,’ he wrote. So that's alright then. ‘What happened here is, as we looked at the new things we wanted to add to WinFS, that would have only been consistent with an '07 schedule,’ said Gates in a soft kitten interview with CNET, in which he was pointedly not asked any nasty questions. ‘So we were faced with a decision. What was the right thing? Was it to take Longhorn as a whole and get these super-cool additional WinFS features in, knowing that that would push the release out into '07, or was it to come up with a plan that was a bit more clever and really not give up much? ‘The plan we have does give up WinFS shipping with Longhorn. And so if you want my basic assessment here, the glass is three-quarters full,’ he added. Whatever's in that glass, it's not milk!

Modified by Psychocktail on 2004/08/30 20:53
Modified by Psychocktail on 2004/08/31 10:54




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