April 25, 2005 1:08 PM PDT

Gates offers Longhorn appetizer

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Show-and-tell for Microsoft

April 28, 2005
SEATTLE--Microsoft chairman Bill Gates gave computer makers a brief look at Longhorn on Monday, but acknowledged that many of its key features will not be evident until much later test versions of the new Windows.

"Longhorn is our big investment," Gates said, calling up colleagues to show, among other things, the improved searching and printing capabilities that will come with the next version of Windows.

With search, for example, Gates said people wrongly assumed Microsoft would not make organizing files dramatically better after it delayed an all-new file storage system. But the company is able to get many of the same features by better indexing of files, rather than moving to a whole new database structure, he said.

Longhorn features

Many of the features that Gates showed, however, are not reflected in the updated "developer preview" version that was given to attendees at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference here. A fraction of the new features will make it into an initial beta version this summer, but many may not show up until a subsequent beta. Microsoft wouldn't say when that beta version will arrive, but Gates said the company is still focused on trying to release the final version of Longhorn in time to make it on PCs sold for the holiday season in 2006.

"When I see those demos, I think, 'Gosh, let's get Longhorn done,'" Gates said. But he added that quality remains the top priority and warned that Microsoft could further change the timetable for the operating system if problems arise during testing.

Envisioneering analyst Richard Doherty said Gates was too vague with the crowd of hardware makers about what is needed to fully take advantage of new OS features, including advanced graphics. For example, in describing which kinds of PCs will fit well with Longhorn, Gates merely reiterated recent recommendations that such systems should have 512MB of memory, today's level of processor and a graphics card with a Longhorn driver.

"When I see those demos, I think, 'Gosh, let's get Longhorn done.'"
--Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft

"It's not real guidance," Doherty said, adding that Gates also did not sufficiently motivate hardware makers to start doing things now to make Longhorn-based PCs a reality by next year's holidays.

"Where was the call to action?" Doherty asked.

Microsoft's effort to reduce the number of people who run with administrator privileges is one example of the features that are still being ironed out. Today, almost all users run with such privileges because they are needed to make even basic changes, but the company is reworking the operating system so that various settings can be altered while running as a standard user.

However, by this summer's beta, only the clock settings are likely to reflect the change, said Will Poole, the head of the Windows Client business. The ability to alter things such as power management and firewall settings won't come in until Beta 2, he said.

Microsoft officials said they still expect to meet their timetable for Longhorn. In an interview, Windows lead product manager Greg Sullivan noted that Microsoft added several features to Windows XP that came in only after the first beta, including the "Luna" shell interface that came in just before the second beta and the instant messaging advances that were added after Beta 2. Sullivan also noted that Microsoft released the first beta of Windows XP on Halloween 2000 and wrapped up final development in August 2001, a shorter time frame than it has laid out for Longhorn.

"Obviously, the proof will be in the pudding," Sullivan said.

Gates did promise that Microsoft's biggest-ever marketing campaign would accompany Longhorn's release. Microsoft recently announced plans for a precursor to that campaign, a "Start Something" blitz that will tout the abilities of current versions of Windows.

The company demonstrated a new XML-based document format, code-named "Metro," that it will use in Longhorn to both print and share documents. Printers that build in Metro support will be able to more quickly and faithfully render documents created in Longhorn, while users will be able to share files without needing the application that created them, Microsoft said.

The document format is likely to go head-to-head with today's most popular document-reading method, Adobe Systems' PDF format. Microsoft's announcement "should have a lot of folks at Adobe worrying," Doherty said.

But it also represents an "all or nothing" bet for Microsoft, Doherty said, in which Microsoft is attempting to displace a well-established competitor. "It's a big gamble," he said.

Among other features Gates discussed was the ability of PCs running Longhorn to take advantage of storage that combines traditional hard drives and non-volatile flash memory. By using flash for frequently accessed information, laptop PCs will be able to get much better battery life

CONTINUED:
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46 comments

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The Art of War (Vaporware)
LMAO ... you have to give kudos for Microsoft for effectively
using something that does not really exist and constantly
changes definitions for three years as a marketing tool.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Art of War (Vaporware)
LMAO ... you have to give kudos for Microsoft for effectively
using something that does not really exist and constantly
changes definitions for three years as a marketing tool.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Longhorn, a Mac Clone?
Once again the only way to make Windows better is to copy Apple and OS X. No thanks I will stick with my Mac..
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hehe
And us Mac users get it all a whole 1.5 years before everyone
else :)
Posted by iKenny (98 comments )
Link Flag
Longhorn, a Mac Clone?
Once again the only way to make Windows better is to copy Apple and OS X. No thanks I will stick with my Mac..
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hehe
And us Mac users get it all a whole 1.5 years before everyone
else :)
Posted by iKenny (98 comments )
Link Flag
Now they're vaporing hardware
Bill shows off a mockup of small PC that should be possible to
build in a few years. I'm sure that's based on Microsoft's years
of experience in building PC hardware...
Posted by RetiredMidn (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now they're vaporing hardware
Bill shows off a mockup of small PC that should be possible to
build in a few years. I'm sure that's based on Microsoft's years
of experience in building PC hardware...
Posted by RetiredMidn (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Rudderless
So to summarize. once again, "Longhorn" isn't developing a
single new feature that isn't a pale rip-off of today's Mac OS X.

And even as of today, years after Microsoft announced
Longhorn, they can't put a complete SDK in developers hands for
the "features" being touted for release next year. Its just
astonishing. Even if its just expected at this point that Microsoft
will do nothing more with Longhorn than rip-off Mac OS X, how
can their chief software officer seriously stand up in front of a
crowd of developers with nothing more than a pie-in-the-sky
speech about security and dangle what are now all too familiar
OS features without any real code to put in real developer's
hands to back up Microsoft's endless hyperbole?

Really. What is with these guys? Are they just content to occupy
the bottom of the barrel for any original ideas and
innovation? "Start Something?" How about "Finish Anything..."
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Rudderless
So to summarize. once again, "Longhorn" isn't developing a
single new feature that isn't a pale rip-off of today's Mac OS X.

And even as of today, years after Microsoft announced
Longhorn, they can't put a complete SDK in developers hands for
the "features" being touted for release next year. Its just
astonishing. Even if its just expected at this point that Microsoft
will do nothing more with Longhorn than rip-off Mac OS X, how
can their chief software officer seriously stand up in front of a
crowd of developers with nothing more than a pie-in-the-sky
speech about security and dangle what are now all too familiar
OS features without any real code to put in real developer's
hands to back up Microsoft's endless hyperbole?

Really. What is with these guys? Are they just content to occupy
the bottom of the barrel for any original ideas and
innovation? "Start Something?" How about "Finish Anything..."
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Top Secret Pre-release of Longhorn now on the Web...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/macosx/newfeatures/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/macosx/newfeatures/</a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gee... I am swithcing
I thought Tiger was supposed to be remarkable. I found this "feature" funny.


Document Properties

Add important information to your TextEdit documents so Spotlight can better find and organize them.

Gee, impressive organisation features. If you need to add a description to a file then it is you who is organising. Besides, Windows 2000 has this "feature".

How about;


Dictionary Widget

Find definitions by typing all or part of a word, and use the built-in thesaurus to find synonyms, antonyms and more  no Internet connection required.

Wow.

Firewall Log

Keep a log of all firewall activity, such as blocked sources, blocked destinations and blocked attempts.

It didn't have this "feature" before?


Safe Downloads

Receive an approval alert message when the system or an application attempts to download files whose type or source is not trustworthy.

Err... you are kidding. Didn't Win98SE have this feature?

But wait, theres more...


About This Mac

View the name of the startup disk in the enhanced About This Mac menu  great if you have multi-drive setups.

Battery System Menu

Easily change power management settings directly from the system menu.

iPhoto Desktop Pictures and Screen Saver

Choose any photo or album from iPhoto as your desktop picture or screen saver using the Desktop &#38; Screen Saver preference panel.

Desktop Pictures

Choose from a collection of stunning new desktop pictures, including a vibrant new default desktop created exclusively for Mac OS X Tiger users.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Top Secret Pre-release of Longhorn now on the Web...
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/macosx/newfeatures/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/macosx/newfeatures/</a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gee... I am swithcing
I thought Tiger was supposed to be remarkable. I found this "feature" funny.


Document Properties

Add important information to your TextEdit documents so Spotlight can better find and organize them.

Gee, impressive organisation features. If you need to add a description to a file then it is you who is organising. Besides, Windows 2000 has this "feature".

How about;


Dictionary Widget

Find definitions by typing all or part of a word, and use the built-in thesaurus to find synonyms, antonyms and more  no Internet connection required.

Wow.

Firewall Log

Keep a log of all firewall activity, such as blocked sources, blocked destinations and blocked attempts.

It didn't have this "feature" before?


Safe Downloads

Receive an approval alert message when the system or an application attempts to download files whose type or source is not trustworthy.

Err... you are kidding. Didn't Win98SE have this feature?

But wait, theres more...


About This Mac

View the name of the startup disk in the enhanced About This Mac menu  great if you have multi-drive setups.

Battery System Menu

Easily change power management settings directly from the system menu.

iPhoto Desktop Pictures and Screen Saver

Choose any photo or album from iPhoto as your desktop picture or screen saver using the Desktop &#38; Screen Saver preference panel.

Desktop Pictures

Choose from a collection of stunning new desktop pictures, including a vibrant new default desktop created exclusively for Mac OS X Tiger users.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Scared tiny cowboy on his virtual bull...
Citizen Gates is the tiny Marlboro Man riding his virtual bull (ShortHorn) around trying to cover his tracks.
Big Tobacco &#38; Microsoft have many things in common:
Both are obsolete relics of the past "cool age".
Both spew cancer, viruses &#38; cause you to crash &#38; burn.
Both have manipulated the government with their billion dollar lobbyist &#38; power plays.
Both have lied to the Government for years about how "safe" their products are.
Both have dug their tenticles deep into the masses &#38; make it very difficult to go "cold turkey".
Both have done whatever it takes (legally or illegally) to keep their monopolies in power &#38; crush the other guys "butts" thereby snuffing them out &#38; keeping their cash flow going from the little people to the corporate fat cats.
MS &#38; Big Tobacco are both cancerous, nip them in the bud or roll your own.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Second Opinion
Actually I think that Apple and IBM are relics. What makes Apple the new kid on the block? Apple had it's time but it's obsession with excessive profit has doomed it.

Bye Bye Apple, Bye Bye
Enjoy your last Hurrah
Because you are doomed to die
Just like the hybrid car
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Scared tiny cowboy on his virtual bull...
Citizen Gates is the tiny Marlboro Man riding his virtual bull (ShortHorn) around trying to cover his tracks.
Big Tobacco &#38; Microsoft have many things in common:
Both are obsolete relics of the past "cool age".
Both spew cancer, viruses &#38; cause you to crash &#38; burn.
Both have manipulated the government with their billion dollar lobbyist &#38; power plays.
Both have lied to the Government for years about how "safe" their products are.
Both have dug their tenticles deep into the masses &#38; make it very difficult to go "cold turkey".
Both have done whatever it takes (legally or illegally) to keep their monopolies in power &#38; crush the other guys "butts" thereby snuffing them out &#38; keeping their cash flow going from the little people to the corporate fat cats.
MS &#38; Big Tobacco are both cancerous, nip them in the bud or roll your own.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Second Opinion
Actually I think that Apple and IBM are relics. What makes Apple the new kid on the block? Apple had it's time but it's obsession with excessive profit has doomed it.

Bye Bye Apple, Bye Bye
Enjoy your last Hurrah
Because you are doomed to die
Just like the hybrid car
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
"Metro" vs. PDF
This was one of the most interesting parts of the article. PDF seems to have a pretty solid grasp so far on documents. Now the purchase of Marcomedia makes more sense. Clash of the titans, soon!
Posted by jimboman78 (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Never could understand....
.... why it takes a 60 MB Acrobat program to display a 10 KB file. -
other than it's an Adobe product......
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Abobe Now
I think Adobe just bought MacroMedia. Even Microsofts money
and power won't make that a fight. PDF versus Metro?

This keeps up will be hearing about another monopoly case. I
think its time for all children, good and bad, to go look up what
the word "monopoly" means.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
"Metro" vs. PDF
This was one of the most interesting parts of the article. PDF seems to have a pretty solid grasp so far on documents. Now the purchase of Marcomedia makes more sense. Clash of the titans, soon!
Posted by jimboman78 (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Never could understand....
.... why it takes a 60 MB Acrobat program to display a 10 KB file. -
other than it's an Adobe product......
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Abobe Now
I think Adobe just bought MacroMedia. Even Microsofts money
and power won't make that a fight. PDF versus Metro?

This keeps up will be hearing about another monopoly case. I
think its time for all children, good and bad, to go look up what
the word "monopoly" means.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
 

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