Daily Archive: August 30, 2004

So what will be included in Longhorn?

In an email message to all full-time employees on, Microsoft group vice president Jim Allchin said that the company’s customers “love our vision” but just wanted parts of it to be delivered sooner. He said that Microsoft will deliver the following in 2006:


  • The highest quality OS we have ever shipped
  • New information management tools to improve productivity, including fast desktop search and new, intuitive ways to organize files
  • Major security advances that build on Windows XP SP2, such as new technologies to make clients more resilient to attack, viruses and malware
  • Flexible and powerful tools to reduce deployment costs for enterprise customers, including technologies for image creation, editing and installation; and much simpler upgrades for consumers
  • Significant improvements in reliability, including a robust diagnostic infrastructure to detect, analyze and fix problems quickly, and new backup tools to keep data safe
  • A platform that creates Developer excitement with the availability of rich APIs [application programming interfaces]


“Our commitment to broad availability of the Longhorn client in 2006 and broadening the API set underscores our long-term vision for the Windows platform, and our desire to deliver high-quality innovations that our customers and developers are asking for in a timely …

So you want to understand what the changes to Longhorn mean?

Summary: The reaction to the news on Longhorn seems mainly positive


There is an enormous amount of debate on Microsoft’s decision to change the content and timing of Longhorn.  I discussed it in brief yesterday.  Since then there has been some very well informed discussions and links to these can be found on Robert Scobles blog.  However Robert just provides a very long list with little opinion so here is my take. In a bit more detail.


By far the best place to start in understanding this debate is this interview with Bill Gates by CNet.  It’s a fascinating piece with lots of snippets, a few of which I quote below:


We realized that we could do a lot of rich search capabilities in the OS without the full database, taking some of our text technology that’s been used by Office, and actually, MSN is doing some nearer-term local-search things, building on that same technology.  So that’s why MS bought LookOut!


Then we have other groups, like WinFS, where we’re way out in front, and there’s nobody to compare ourselves to. Making sure that they see how we’re committed …