Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Microsoft: Longhorn Is Still Compelling

Longhorn, Microsoft's highly touted, long-awaited, next-generation operating system, will be the most-secure Windows operating system ever. It will be easier to use and manage, both at home and work, and will cost less to operate. Longhorn will sport impressive advances in how files are managed, organized, and displayed. All that, and Microsoft's next-gen system won't be delayed--it's on schedule to ship in the second half of 2006.

Promises, promises. Now it's up to Microsoft's development team to deliver on those obligations, made last week by Jim Allchin, the group VP who oversees development of Windows clients, servers, and development tools. Allchin gave an update on Longhorn to address growing questions about what features will make it into the operating system and why customers should plan for it.

In August, Microsoft dropped one of Longhorn's most-anticipated features, the WinFS file system, and said it would retrofit two other Longhorn advances--Indigo communications services and the Avalon graphics system--to work within Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. In doing so, the company diminished Longhorn's gee-whiz factor, something it now needs to fix. "The question is how Longhorn can add value to this space and take it to the next level," Allchin says.

The answer: Longhorn will come with "unrivaled security and safety," while being packed with new features. Even without WinFS, Longhorn will let users stack, rearrange, filter, and create lists of PC files, including multimedia files and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. Improvements in data visualization will go beyond today's search capabilities, Allchin says.

One new capability will be "auxiliary displays" that let a mobile user view, say, her calendar even when a laptop is turned off. Also, Longhorn will support the IPv6 protocol, making "pure IPv6" networks possible.

  • 1