It’s said that Longhorn will be a revolutionary evolution of an operating system. (mostly by Micro$oft I might add.) but for those of us that just want to get our work done and don’t particularly care about eye candy, what does this actually mean?
Well, for one thing, it means that you’re going to have to upgrade, and by upgrade I mean pretty much everything, hardware and software.
Any applications containing 16bit code, will not work on Longhorn, (or even the soon to arrive 64bit version of XP). So thousands of software packages that are used by the corporate world for years will have to be updated to all 32 or 64bit, or they will have to be replaced. This can potentially cost millions of development dollars, something that is likely to upset many corporate decision makers and bean counters.
It’s not just 16bit support that will cause problems, it’s a new security model, and a bunch of subsystems that are quite different from those in use now.
Ironically the answer in this case might be Linux, or more specifically Win4Lin or WINE, (a windows compatability layer). WINE, particularly versions like Codeweavers allow you to run many windows apps from within Linux, programs like Office, Quicken, Lotus notes, Dreamweaver and many many more. See the Wine db and the Codeweavers application database to see if your applications are listed. Don’t despair if they are not, because WINE, is under constant development, so by the time it matters, you might be in luck.
Many text editors, html generators, graphics tools etc will run perfectly well under WINE on Linux, so you get the best of both worlds, the security and reliability of Linux and the applications from Windows. So if you have invested in a bunch of web development tools that will not run under Longhorn, you will have two choices, either pay to upgrade all your apps to Longhorn versions, of give Linux a try and run your windows applications there.
Is it just me, or is it really highly ironic that Linux may well end up being better at running old Windows applications then the new Windows?
Check out Eweek for more details.