October 13, 2003

It's Official: No Longhorn Until 2006

Microsoft Watch reports that at Microsoft's worldwide partner conference this week, Microsoft finally admitted that Longhorn won't see the light of day until 2006.

What saddens me is that means that the Longhorn SERVER won't be out until sometime in 2007. Wow that seems like a far ways off to wait for the next server platform release which will include all the new security tidbits that Longhorn project is keeping under lock and key.

Also makes you wonder how good the PDC will be. If they are waiting 3 more years before Longhorn's release, shouldn't they have waited a year or so before announcing things, since 3 years is a PRETTY LONG TIME in Internet time?

Posted by SilverStr at October 13, 2003 03:54 PM | TrackBack

Scoble still toutes it as "having things out in the open". It'll be interesting to see the longhorn alphas that are given out though, when the screenshots and reviews come out. Still, I can't help but think back to the days of W95, or rather, the days before it's release when we were told how great it would be, how it'll be just a bit longer, no don't move your systems over to that OS/2 thing, windows will be much better than that.

I won't be all that surprised when the PR campaign starts at PDC+1min and goes till longhorn's release.

This is a time when the alternative OSs can give it a go though. Linux/Mac/etc have three full years to get acceptance and chip away at the MS stronghold, and being that OSS seems to move faster than MS, they may have a chance. The problem of course it it's never really been about customer choice, it's been about OEM deals, which MS has, NDA'd up the wazzoo, and the OEMs under threat of higher OS prices if they so much as *think* of moving elsewhere, or having any OS but windows boot up, or even show a boot loader with something other than windows on it.

Posted by: Arcterex at October 13, 2003 11:32 PM

Well, I am gonna bet that Microsoft will have no choice but to wrap XP SP2 as a major advancement in security and make it a "sudo" OS version upgrade/release. Ballmer said something to the effect that it will be a whole new Windows XP. I wouldn't doubt that is to reflect a new release coming out. Lest we forget that XP came out in 2001, so nothing NEW and major will be coming out of MS for 5 years!

Windows Server 2003 came out recently, and its attack surface is much lower than Windows 2000, but still has a way to go itself, and is really just Windows XP 'serverized'. The 'trust' it was supposed to rebuild with customers didn't happen after all the wackiness from the worms that attacked it and every other flavour based on NT.

Longhorn is supposed to be the final solution. It's a big rethink on the underpinning of the OS. What that exactly means I am not sure about, mostly because there is so much marketing hype around it I can never figure out whats real and whats fluff. And its only going to get worse once the PDC starts.

I still think Microsoft is approaching this ineffectively. If they are going to delay release by that many years, and hire a whomping new 5000+ workers to work on it, why not refactor all the old code and reapproach it. They are re-writing the file system, major components to the kernel and the UI anyways... why not get rid of the code nightmare that they have had and start refactoring their existing platform with secure coding in mind? It's been proven lately that their 'code audit' can't find everything (which is unfair to criticize, since there is so MUCH code in their master sources it can't be combed through in a month) and I would bet more people would be happy with a Windows Server 2004-2005 which is refactored code from its existing master sources... FROM THE GROUND UP. As their OS gets more complex it seems to get more brittle, mostly because its core still uses old legacy NT4 as the underpinning. This foundation has to be fixed before adding more on top of it.

Oh well. I have no clue about Longhorn. It's way to far off to fret about it now. Of course, this is good for people like me anyways, since it will keep me employed for a ways to come! (As morbid as that may seem)

Posted by: SilverStr at October 14, 2003 12:16 AM