Everyone seems to be covering this story at the moment, so this is hardly an exclusive, but I figured it’s important enough to warrant a mention.
Microsoft has told us that we can expect Longhorn, the next version of the Windows operating system, in 2006 sometime. Because of delays caused by the release of Service Pack 2 for WinXP, it might not be possible to release the full version of Longhorn originally anticipated. (Bill Gates originally said Longhorn would be released sometime in 2003)
Microsoft project managers are apparently insisting that parts of the release be removed in order to bring the product to market on time, or at least not too far behind.
Two things that might be removed, are WinFS and Avalon, ironically two of the main things that made Longhorn interesting. WinFS is the database back end of Longhorn that was set to make searching your hard drive much easier and more detailed, regardless of the file type. And Avalon was the new display system of Longhorn, which was much simpler and more powerful then its predecessor. It was also capable of some pretty impressive eye candy.
I’m left wondering if they are not better off releasing an updated version of XP sometime soon, and using that to delay the release of Longhorn until its actually finished. Though I suspect the need to get Longhorn out fast is caused by their own distribution channels demanding it, and Microsoft’s desire to get it out soon to delay Linux uptake by the world in general.
Who knows? the question is; If we get a cut down version of Longhorn without WinFS and Avalon, what “must have” features is it going to offer people that XP SP2 doesn’t already have?
In other news, California has decided to sue Microsoft in a class action antitrust lawsuit again. California is also said to be considering Open source software as part of a $32 billion cost-cutting exercise.