oreilly.comSafari Books Online.Conferences.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A Guided Tour of the Newest Longhorn Build
Pages: 1, 2, 3


The Control Panel includes an item called the Indexing Options (see Figure 13); this item can also be located in the system tray.

Figure 13
Figure 13. The Indexing Options item in the Control Panel

The Indexing Options item lets you configure how the indexing should work on your computer (see Figure 14). This is similar to the Windows Desktop Search tool that Microsoft recently released.

Figure 14
Figure 14. Configuring the indexing options

To search, click on the magnifying glass icon (see Figure 15) and you can fine-tune your search query. For my testing, I had no luck with the searching. It just didn't seem to work.

Figure 15
Figure 15. Using the search feature

Internet Explorer

Longhorn includes Internet Explorer 6 (see Figure 16), which is what you already have in Windows XP.

Figure 16
Figure 16. Internet Explorer on Longhorn

However, there is one interesting option in the Tools menu (see Figure 17). The Clear Browsing Records item clears the content in the Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, and all form data and stored passwords. This is a useful option, even though this action can be accomplished through the Internet Options items. Still, it is a good addition, as it makes it easier to clean up your trails--especially when you're using a public computer.

Figure 17
Figure 17. New menu item in IE6

Besides this, the IE in Longhorn is almost the same as that in Windows XP. I was hoping to see tabbed browsing supported in this version of IE, but disappointingly it is not to be seen.

Enabling 3-D Desktop

One of the most impressive features in Longhorn is the Avalon Desktop Windows Manager (DWM). Avalon is the new 3-D GUI in Longhorn. In this build, you need to do some tweaking on the Registry in order to get the DWM working. Although I wasn't able to get it to run on my virtual PC, here are the instructions (from those who managed to make it work):

  1. Create a text file and name it EnableDWM.reg. Type the following into the file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

  1. In the Run box of the Start menu, type services.msc to launch the Services window.
  2. Double-click on User Experience Session Management Service (see Figure 18), and change the Startup type from Disabled to Automatic.

Figure 18
Figure 18. The Services window

  1. Double-click on the EnableDWM.reg file to add the key to the Registry. When prompted, click on Yes.
  2. Reboot your computer.

DWM is now enabled.


Overall, this build of Longhorn is somewhat disappointing, at least from the perspective of UI enhancements. However, it is too early to pass judgment, because Longhorn won't ship until 2006 at the earliest. Moreover, Longhorn build 5048 was designed primarily for device driver writers and, as such, does not focus on the user interface experience.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.

Return to the Windows DevCenter.