Longhorn: A Long Road to Nowhere?

by Preston Gralla

The latest word is that Longhorn will finally ship in time for the holiday season 2006, a full five years after XP was released. It will be the longest time between operating system revisions in Microsoft history.



We've been promised time and time again that it will be worth the wait because Longhorn will include all kinds of advanced technologies not currently available.



It's now looking like that's not the case. Microsoft is already publicly backing off about just how advanced Longhorn really will be.



"Maybe we hyped it up a little bit too much," Microsoft group product manager Greg Sullivan told Information Week in an interview before the WinHEC conference being held this week. He added, "We're set up to pleasantly surprise people who don't have super-high expectations for Longhorn."



Longhorn won't include WinFS, Microsoft's much-hyped new file system that was supposed to make it easier to organize and search for documents. Indigo and Avalon, two other much-hyped technologies, will be available for other versions of Windows, not just Longhorn. And you can be sure between now and shipping time, other features will be dropped as well.



So what's been taking Microsoft five years? It's tough to know. But it's a year and a half (or more) until Longhorn ships, and at the moment, the new operating system doesn't necessarily sound as if it'll be worth the wait.


Do you think Longhorn will be worth the wait?


5 Comments

Villa
2005-04-26 10:34:12
New features aren't everything
With Longhorn, Microsoft promised a whole lot of innovations, most of which are in fact being dropped, hopefully just postponed.
But I do believe that the most important change proposed for Longhorn was the improved security. Lonhorn's supposed to include an almost complete rewrite in terms of security and stability, which I think is a monumental task, considering Windows' magnitude. This may not be considered a 'feature' per se, and users will not actually feel the difference, but it's there and it's huge.
As long as they don't drop that too, I think Longhorn will be worth the wait.
hkai
2005-04-27 02:23:36
i'm still using win2k
i feel win2k still fit my needs. then i may not upgrade to xp or anything newer.
upgrade your OS to win2k when it's become free!
Riscy
2005-04-27 22:57:42
Longhorn...what is the points?
The technology on XP version is sufficient for today needed and if there is new technology XP is easily upgraded via thrid party software at small cost.


For example ipod software, nokia software to communicate with telephone, DVD player software...it just the hardware that need improving to interface with true multimedia. HyperOS produce stunning software which includes system bootup using high speed memory module rather than HD.


Which bring back question...what is the point of Lornhorn...ah I know, they going to phase out the XP so that we be forced into Lornhorn 2008, if we like it or not.


It going to create problem for me because I have to buy/upgrade software all over again by 2008.


Yep...the primary reason is moneyspinner, just to keep microsoft going.


It going to have full of bugs with constant update and risk of virus attacked.


What is the point?.


Oyku
2005-04-28 02:20:41
Microsoft under pressure of 64bit
I think Microsoft is having the hardest time of their history. Now that we have 64bit x86 CPUS in the market, Microsoft is still failing to support them. The problem lies in the very roots of Windows OS architecture (even if there is) MS OSes are besed on micro kernel architecture since the early development (acqusition, take over or what ever you may call) of NT.


That means kernel does not handle hardware access interally but rely on other components (device drivers) to handle hardware IO


Since kernel and the device driver should theoretically talk to each other seemlesly, the 32-64 bit issue rises here. If the kernel is 64bit the device driver must be so.


And this is where Microsoft is doomed to fail. This is not like the case of 16-32 bit. You cannot change or provide 64bit device drivers for millions of peripherals overnight. Not even Bill Gates.


This is not completely Microsoft's fault though. Also Intel is failing to create a decent 64bit CPU and losing market share to AMD 64 which is capable of running both 32bit and 64bit. A thorough look at two or three magazines' ads reveals that Opteron (AMD 64it server CPU) penetration is far beyond Intel's Itanium2.


So bottom line, every thing on earth has a life cycle. Even companies. So who can say that the bells have not started tolling for Microsoft?


I've tried to be unbiased in this comment. For those of you who will jump start replying, please bear in mind that I have not mentioned even the name of another operating system :)

mattfein
2005-04-28 07:02:48
What's with Longhorn?
I agree that there's something odd going on here. Originally there was a new file system, a new Windows API, a new graphics subsystem, a new security subsystem.. not to mention a slew of other novel and incomprehensible runtime features and tools. Now, after years of behind-the-scenes flailing around, it's approaching 'none of the above'. Odd.