August 27, 2004 9:03 AM PDT

Microsoft overhauls Longhorn plans

update In order to get the next update of its Windows operating system out the door, Microsoft will delay some of the key improvements that had been planned, sources close to the company said Friday.

The company should announce a road map for Longhorn, its revision to Windows XP, later on Friday. The changes will allow the company to meet its most recent timetable: to have a beta version ready by next year and a final release for 2006.

News.context

What's new:
To avoid further delays, Microsoft is revising its list of what will appear in Longhorn, the next version of Windows.

Bottom line:
The company is pushing some key improvements out of Longhorn, including the WinFS file system, for its release in 2006. The trade-offs are an effort to deliver other desired features on time.

More stories on this topic

Longhorn was originally supposed to have three major changes: a new file system, WinFS; a new graphics and presentation engine known as Avalon; and Indigo, a Web services and communication architecture.

Microsoft is making changes to all three pillars. WinFS will be available as a beta when the Longhorn release comes out as a client. Avalon and Indigo will be part of Longhorn, but also made available separately at the time the client ships for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, sources said.

According to the sources, Microsoft decided to make some trade-offs to deliver the features that corporate customers, manufacturers and consumers wanted on time.

Longhorn had already fallen behind its original schedule. Microsoft earlier this year pushed the date back to the first half of 2006, saying a test version would be delayed until next year.

The revision to the operating system had been one of the most complicated ones Microsoft had ever planned for its flagship product.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled Longhorn last October at a developers conference, sending programmers home with very early code, and promised beta versions would follow by this year. Despite the company's enthusiasm for Longhorn, Microsoft shifted a great deal of its Windows development team this year to work on the just-released Service Pack 2 security update to Windows XP.

Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that in the wake of SP2, it would "revisit its priorities" for Longhorn.

Executives had characterized Longhorn as a big bet but had maintained that such advances were important, even if they took time.

6 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
They Shipping what exactly?
When the client is released, the new file system will be in beta. And the new graphics system and web service will be available for download. Great. Just glad I'm an OS X fan. Have fun Longhorn folks.
Posted by nmcphers (261 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Features Indeed
The article states:

"Microsoft decided to make some trade-offs to deliver the
features that corporate customers, manufacturers and
consumers wanted on time."

Uhh.... I believe the features folks wanted were exactly the ones
they plan to chop.... Not that I as a user of OS X will be slowed
down in the least. Come on Tiger!
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
Redmond, we have a problem...
Micosoft monopoly empire is cracking under it's own weight & ineptitude. Trying to service all of is numerous OS's out there, fixing all the numerous security holes in OS/IE/Outlook, as well as, devending it's monopoly in legal battles worldwide, is not a good thing for consumers.
First you hear, "hold on LONGHORN's acommin'", then it's "LONGHORN to the rescue. It will solve all that is wrong with MS", Then "LONGHORN will be the best thing out there & far reaching into the future of Microsoft's vision."
NOW it's patch & repair, get it out no matter what & fix it later or "update" it later. Same old thing in a brand new box. Tell developers to wait, put out a GOLD version that is really a BETA version, then updates galore, then fix all the security holes & crashing problems.
Welcome to your nightmare - Welcome to Microsoft.
Citizen Gates, you need Viagra. Microsoft has become just that MICRO AND SOFT.
Open Source/Linux/Unix/Java/Flash is the future & Redmond is Jurassic Park.
- Eyes wide open in Seattle -
Posted by (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why wait for Longhorn, or even Longhorn technology?
How about backing out some of the stuff you've already put in.
Simplify and streamline what you have, so it's faster, more
reliable, and more secure?

Remember this quote from Bill Gates? "There are no significant
bugs in our released software that any significant number of
users want fixed."

And this one? "If you really think there's a bug you should report
a bug. Maybe you're not using it properly. Have you ever
considered that?"

Or this? "The reason we come up with new versions is not to fix
bugs. It's absolutely not. It's the stupidest reason to buy a new
version I ever heard."

And that's still Microsoft's goal. Avalon and Longhorn are all
about new features. But are you hearing anyone ask for new
features from Windows? What do people want from Windows?

The number one thing *I* hear from people, about what they
want in Windows, is an operating system that doesn't break
down all the time. They want an OS that isn't full of spyware,
that they have to keep paying Symantec or Network Associates
for antivirus files for, or that just gets slower and slower all the
time or just starts spouting random errors they can't
understand...

They want bugs fixed. They will PAY for bug fixes, because
they're already paying for third party software like antivirus or
Ghost or ZoneAlarm to fix the bugs. They'd pay for a real XP
light (not that joke Starter Edition, but a real lean and
lightweight OS). How about it?
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.