Feeds

(Almost) everything may go, as Longhorn rushes to release

Rearranging the wish list

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

If Microsoft had counted on this week's WinHEC hardware conference to raise enthusiasm for the next release on Windows, then the event can certainly be judged a success. The build that found its way into developers' hands isn't the leviathan some feared: it purrs along happily with 512MB and a modest 16MB graphics card, although a 64MB card will be needed to take full advantage of the new compositor.

More importantly, eighteen long months of concepts and code snippets are starting to coalesce into a real product that looks like a marked improvement on its predecessors: at least for developers. The Managed APIs, for example, are clearly a quantum leap over the cruft that has dogged Windows since version 1.0, nearly 20 years ago. Microsoft wants developers to write to the new cleaner APIs offered by .NET and XAML, and this is clearly a much better option for green-field developers. Established ISVs don't have this luxury, and that's starting to exert some inertia on the most ambitious Longhorn plans.

It emerged this week that not all of the goodies will make their way into the final product. The Trusted Computing portion Longhorn NGSCB, we've independently confirmed, won't be accessible through the Managed APIs. In place of NGSCB, NX and Janus (Microsoft's new DRM scheme) received heavy promotion at WinHEC.

Although it's too early for final decisions to have been taken, we understand that two areas are considered essential, while the rest are candidates for severe pruning, if timescales slip. WinFS and the new graphics subsystems are the two technologies viewed as mandatory. The latter is less about eye candy than about removing Windows' constraint on a fixed physical resolution. As the pixel density and size of displays increases at a pace, text will simply be unreadable in a few years, unless the graphics subsystems are modified. And this portion is going to plan.

WinFS has been scaled back from the lofty ambitions originally envisaged three years ago, when it was talked about as an entirely new file system with file system plug-ins. It was revised to become an incremental enhancement to NTFS, the file system that debuted with Windows NT eleven years ago.

Correspondents reckon that stories, including ours, that WinFS would not have network support is not really news, as product managers have been cagey about making such promises for the client.

"WinFS is not the sum of all blog rumors," product manager Toby Whitney pointed out in a talk at last year's Microsoft Professional Developer Conference. The WinFS features useful to enterprises will be in Longhorn Server and haven't been yet been fully revealed. The WinFS feature set for the client still offers a better for sorting and retrieving personal digital media than XP.

The problem between now and 2006, with co-ordinated windpower of four hundred bloggers blowing Longhorn down the launchway, is making sure that expectations stay in line with the reality. ®

Related stories

MS Trusted Computing back to drawing board
MS seeks to merge Flash, HDD storage
No Windows XP SE as Longhorn jettisons features
MS delays Yukon
Windows Shorthorn is dead-on-arrival
MS moves into get Longhorn on the road mode
Windows Longhaul? Longhorn could be 2008, says Gartner

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.