Feeds

Avalon, WinFS decoupled for Windows Shorthorn

Cue 'out-of-band add-on packs'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

As we suggested on Friday, two mainstays of Windows Longhorn will be 'decoupled' from the 2006 release, with Microsoft dropping the WinFS storage and query system. Originally intended to be a full-blown replacement for the NTFS file system that put a database at the heart of Windows, WinFS will now be available as an add-on no sooner than 2007 for Longhorn, XP and Windows 2003. Or to be more precise - and here is another new piece of jargon for Redmond watchers - WinFS will be released as an "out-of-band add-on pack". Got that?

A cut-down version of Avalon, minus the compositor and the new device driver model will be backported to Windows XP too. Microsoft had already pledged to backport the next generation of middleware APIs, code named Indigo, to XP. All of which has left developers questioning the necessity of a 'big bang'.

"If WinFX (including Avalon and Indigo) are going to be available for WinXP and Win2003.  What is going to be the point of Longhorn?" wrote one developer on Microsoft's bulletin boards.

Longhorn-unique Avalon features that may survive - and it's a decision that has yet to be made - include a desktop manager (DWM), compositor (DCE) and new driver model (LDDM). As we wrote last week, a new resolution-independent display model is a necessity given the increasing density of LCD screens.

As one correspondent points out, decoupling might actually have the effect of making Avalon more attractive than before, as the potential client base will include XP users who've installed the er, out-of-band add-on pack. However not all Avalon Longhorn features will work on XP, such as the 3D effects touted in Glass. And ensuring that the two rendering engines - Longhorn and Avalon-lite - sing the same song is going to be a challenge for Microsoft developers.

We'll be gathering more reaction, and comment from Microsoft itself, later today. ®

Related stories

Avalon faces axe as Microsoft dismembers Longhorn
Microsoft developer hoax backfires
MS roadmaps Longhorn Server and beyond to 2/4 year beat

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.