Feeds

Microsoft: May expectations for Longhorn

Alpha code for WinHEC?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft is expected to deliver its first draft of the delayed Longhorn OS next month, with some of its ambitious sub-system features trimmed down. If Longhorn is not ready in time for May's WinHEC hardware conference, Microsoft could lose goodwill from OEMs, developers and customers.

It is believed Microsoft will release alpha code for Longhorn, the first publicly available code for the operating system, at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), in Seattle, Washington, between 4 and 7 May.

Should Microsoft miss WinHEC, it risks costing developers' goodwill and throwing out hardware upgrade and development cycles. Longhorn's final delivery is now scheduled for the first half of 2006, having been pushed out from 2005.

Longhorn is being designed to utilize PC resources that are otherwise under used and could be better deployed to serving Windows. For example, Microsoft plans a graphics subsystem, codenamed Avalon, which use PCs' graphics subsystems to produce better-quality graphics and to remove load from processors.

However, Microsoft has warned that it will scale back features in Avalon, in Longhorn's WinFS storage subsystem, and in its Indigo web services architecture. The degree of scale-back is unclear, though, as Microsoft itself has not yet reached a final decision.

By releasing Longhorn code at WinHEC, Microsoft would give OEMs, device manufactures and customers their first peak into the operating system's hardware needs. WinHEC is Microsoft's premier hardware developers' conference. After WinHEC, customers could then begin buying adequately specified PCs while OEMs and developer begin their development cycles.

However, changes by Microsoft to the basic Longhorn footprint after WinHEC would require OEMs and developers to throw-out work based on the WinHEC code and to start again, while customers who bought PCs because of what they saw at WinHEC would be forced to scrap purchases, costing time, money and goodwill.

One feature that could be thrown out is Microsoft's Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), the digital rights management (DRM) system-on a chip architecture planned for Longhorn. Hardware manufacturers who would have to support NGSCB in products like graphics cards and mice have not been building for the system in large numbers, indicating this is one feature Microsoft can afford to drop for now.

Source: ComputerWire/Datamonitor

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit
And at the back of the field, Windows 8.1 is sprinting away from Windows 8
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?