Home > Windows > Longhorn Delay Stirs Dismay, Delight in Developers Longhorn Delay Stirs Dismay, Delight in Developers Eugenia Loli 2004-08-31 Windows 31 Comments While many applaud the timely release of Avalon & Indigo and MS’ decision to “stop dreaming and wake up,” others warn the company that it is eroding its credibility and letting Linux make usability gains. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 31 Comments 2004-08-31 8:29 pm Anonymous …much better, infact! Automatic Windows Updates will deliever Indigo and Avalon to end-users months after the offical release of Longhorn, and that makes for a much bigger bullseye when writing software. Too bad WinFS won’t make the cut to XP, though. :/ 2004-08-31 8:31 pm Anonymous I do see it as eroding their credibility and letting Linux make usability gains… therefore I applaud it! 2004-08-31 8:50 pm Anonymous It is better that they will have as well a working Longhorn system as possible even if it takes extra years than that MS hurries to get half-made buggy version of their operating system out as soon as possible – both from MS and Windows end-users point of view. (Or would you like to have a car that you have to repair every second km that you drive?) MS has invested a LOT of money and effort to Longhorn already. The goal is to make Longhorn so reliable a system that it could remove lots of the negative burden that MS has gained for all the security, stability etc. problems of various Windows versions over the years. And – Linux will gain more users and usability what ever MS may or may not do anyway. The current MS OS monopoly is an unbearable situation that just can’t continue as such for many more decades. 2004-08-31 9:08 pm Anonymous How are the people who bought software assurance for XP feeling about this? Seems like they wasted thier money to me. 2004-08-31 9:11 pm Anonymous I didn’t realize that Longhorn being delayed had anything to do with Linux’s ability to make usability gains. It’s like if Longhorn were to come out even in 2005, even with all the features they promised, Linux developers are going to close up shop and say “Ok, Longhorn is out .. we can quit now.” Linux isn’t going to make a huge dent in the Windows desktop market one way or the other, but certainly Linux will continue to evolve regardless. The previous poster was right – this story is old. Time to move on. 2004-08-31 9:13 pm Anonymous I do see it as eroding their credibility and letting Linux make usability gains… therefore I applaud it! So let meget this straight… Linux can’t win the race against the giant (Microsoft), unless the giant is standig still? How can you applaud that? Sheesh. Linux advocate’s mentality… 2004-08-31 10:07 pm Anonymous “Actually, it can’t win either way … like trying to go after a tank with a toothpick ” Yeah, if it was a Abrams maintained and manned by 4th Armored Division, but this tank is more like WWII vintage T-62 manned by some third world army who was to busy trying to get it to shoot straight to remember to put oil in it. Won’t take a toothpick for the tank to come grinding to a halt. 2004-08-31 10:27 pm Anonymous MS does seem rather paranoid about that marketshare. 2004-08-31 10:39 pm Anonymous Darius, Darius, wake up Darius, YOU ARE DELERIOUS! why can’t you look at the big picture, the rest of the world has. Linux has its place as Windows doe’s. No one can dispute the fact that we are all better off because of Linux. Windows is only as good as it is because of Linux “compitition” 2004-08-31 10:43 pm Anonymous it is not MS or Linux that is the winner! it is all of the world that wins. 2004-08-31 10:47 pm Anonymous No one can dispute the fact that we are all better off because of Linux. Windows is only as good as it is because of Linux “compitition” Oh, I’m not disputing that. I’m just saying that Longhorn’s release date isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference in Linux’s popularity or lack thereof. Ain’t no Joe Sixpack out there gonna go flocking to Linux because he heard from a friend that ReiserFS is a more efficient file system than NTFS, or because it finally gets a universal package manger that actually works. 2004-08-31 11:03 pm Anonymous Linux / KDE or Gnome will need all this time to get better. For it to reach the same level of features that Longhorn will have (Avalon, Indigo, better local search)…. Lets wait and see. Until we get to 2007, many things can change. 2004-08-31 11:19 pm Anonymous This is actually good news. Microsoft is finally serious about their “security” problems and they are also now aware (after the Anti-Trust lawsuit) that their place in the industry is extremely important and that they have to be held accountable. In the future versions of Windows this ideology will become clear. Windows based machines will be super stable and we can finally count on them to work. They have done a wonderful job with XP service pack 2, but that’s only the first step in their new way of looking at things. Microsoft will definitely surprise a lot of people in the coming years. There are a lot of Microsoft fans and countless numbers of people who rely on their software daily. People rely on Microsoft to get their jobs done and having the ability to change for the better is great for Microsoft. I wish them luck. On the Linux side of things, of course Linux will catch up sooner or later, there’s tons of new technology coming out of the KDE and GNOME camps and Novell’s serious entry into the desktop space will definitely keep Microsoft on their toes. I know that these times will be interesting nontheless. Darwin at work I say (no pun intended) 2004-08-31 11:22 pm Anonymous Ain’t no Joe Sixpack out there gonna go flocking to Linux because he heard from a friend that ReiserFS is a more efficient file system than NTFS, or because it finally gets a universal package manger that actually work No, but you will have more people fed up that their Windows XP is infested with worms, even after the latest Service Packs, and people will get frustrated enough to ask their local geek to help them, and hopefully they can learn to use FLOSS. 2004-09-01 12:29 am Anonymous Uh… SP2 is hitting the news for being anything but stable and sexure… FYI. 2004-09-01 12:37 am Anonymous er… that might have been a freudian slip indicating virus activity… 2004-09-01 12:39 am Anonymous The goal is to make Longhorn so reliable a system that it could remove lots of the negative burden that MS has gained for all the security, stability etc. problems of various Windows versions over the years. There is no *way* Longhorn will be a reliable system. Not a snowball’s chance in hell. The big concentration in Longhorn will be features, not stability. WinFS, Avalon, WinFX, Indigo, etc, etc — tons of stuff is getting rewritten. Longhorn is the most extensive change to the NT series since NT 4.0, and like NT 4.0, it’ll probably be a stability regression compared to previous OSs, at least until the first few service packs. Beyond that, I have to question: is microsoft really taking stability and security seriously? My brand-new Windows install (to play Myst: Uru, if you must now) got Sasser within an hour of installation (before I could D/L the update). Even after removal, it refuses to keep a net connection for more than an hour, and just today, it stopped recognizing my sound-card (in the middle of a StarCraft game!) until I rebooted. In general, I’ve had nothing but problems with XP. From wireless LANs that randomly stop working to spyware and viruses, of the four XP machines in my care, only one works properly. I used to run Windows (95, 98, NT 4.0, and Win2k) and I’ve never had so many problems with previous versions as I’ve had with XP. If Windows 2000 was Microsoft’s high-point in recent memory, XP is definitely it’s low-point. 2004-09-01 1:03 am Anonymous Maybe if you were half the computer genius you claimed to be, you would have turned on the built-in firewall. 2004-09-01 1:44 am Anonymous So let meget this straight… Linux can’t win the race against the giant (Microsoft), unless the giant is standig still? How can you applaud that? Microsoft standing still helps, but in the long run it doesn’t matter if they move or not. They have already seen their best days. This is why: The larger the body of existing free software we get, the more is to gain from utilizing that free codebase in your own projects. As you do, the value of the software you enhance increases. At the same time schrink wrapped software will be harder and harder to sell as the market becomes saturated. The only thing you can sell is upgrades, and in some areas, all general neeeds that could be covered by such software packages are allready fullfilled in the previous version. This means that your worst enemy as a propriatory software company will not be open source, but older versions of your own software as there is no ROI for your customers in an upgrade. Microsoft have allready reached this point with their OS and Office package. To still be in business you will have to work more closely with your customers. You will need to provide specialized services that can’t be covered by generalized schrink wrapped packages. One way to do this is to work as consultants. Consultants that have access to the source code for free will be able to offer lower prices, making the decision to go the OSS way even more compelling. Today the major part of all software developed is not done by software companies. Instead it is produced in house, at companies producing other things like food, cars,.. or something else that fill needs more close to the human nature. This means that ther is likely to be a good market for consultants helping such compaies develop software based open source code. The only thing that can stop free software is legislation, but legislation tend to be differ from country to country so Microsoft and others should not have too much hope. The only thing that happens to countries that legislate to stop free software is that their balance of trade may suffer as companies in countries where companies may utilize free software will have the ability to produce products at lower prices. 2004-09-01 1:47 am Anonymous Open Source has already made gains. Most of the “technology” going into Longhorn was adapted from Apple’s OSX platform (spotlight,Safari,quartz). Further more Open Source has or is actively developing competition. A good example is the DoD funded Reiser4 file system which is already in final testing stages. This decission proves the opinion I have long heald. The programming world has changed and Microsoft can’t keep up anymore. Only marketing can keep them afloat for now, but except their fall soon. 2004-09-01 5:21 am Anonymous I’m very surprised to hear that from you in particular. Personally, since win2k I think I’ve seen one bsod – and that was years ago. Everything you wrote seemed so far away to my experience … until you mentioned your wireless lan stopped working (that one was pretty f*cking annoying). Maybe it’s because I’ve picked newer or more common hardware but 2k to xp have been nothing but joy compared to before! I think that high speed internet has had a hand in making this easier and harder for the same and opposite reasons. One of my piss-offs about the feature reduction is WinFS getting pushed – ObjectSpaces was just announced to be delayed and repackaged with WinFS in LongHorn – who knows where it’s burried to now. Guess it’s not one of those new *flashy* features to make it in this round of guess-that-new-feature in LongHorn. @#$^#$ 2004-09-01 8:08 am Anonymous At least this means that they may get the upgrades they paid for last round in this round. Hopefully this should stop the release date slipping into 2007 when another expensive round of Software Assurance is required. But considering Longhorn was supposed to come out in this year it might still slip again. <rant> As for WinFS, BeOS did it (better) in ’95, MacOS X should release something equivalent in 10.4 early next year, and in the Free world there are three or so projects. Perhaps someone will port Storage to Windows? As I remember a few months ago, about the time that Google was about to float on the stock market, Microsoft where saying how they would embrace and extrend web searching to the desktop. I guess that has gone now, so it looks like Microsoft is getting back to their roots. Hype some vapourware that will beat your competitors product to make it financially difficult for them. </rant> 2004-09-01 8:52 am Anonymous Well, from what I remember, Longhorn was supposed to be a total rewrite of an OS which is to include security. Now with the recent rash of articles with respect to: 1) Avalon & Indigo being back ported 2) Timely 2006 release 3) Later release of Win-FS Looks like they are going backport Avalon & Indigo to XP for a reason. Longhorn will be XP with modifications with additional bells and whistles. This is one reason Avalon & Indigo will work on XP. From my basic understanding, it wasnt going to be all that valuable to back port this particular software for the simple fact that XP couldnt take advantage of all their respective features. Unless it is being customize for XP. And then that code will be reused for Longhorn. Its a huge under taking for any company (even MS) to create an OS from scratch. Keep in mind that all the developers would have to learn to program on a new system. MS has got way too much momentum behind them to change gears this fast. Momentum is can be a good thing at times but it seems like it is working against them by making Longhorn an XP based system. I can see this for a couple of reasons: 1) OS X and Linux market share. 2) Dont tick of the thousands up thousands of devleopers out there. 3) Revenue in the door. Every company needs money, even MS. I think that this is a plan about damage control more than anything else. I would have loved to see an OS from scratch. Just my 2 cents worth. 2004-09-01 9:51 am Anonymous There’s MacOs X of course, and it’s a far more polished system, but that’s if you have a Mac. For those of us who, for whatever reason, have to use Windows, Beos R5 may not look so “hopelessly behind” in 2006 after all…Haiku’s just been dealt a few good cards. 2004-09-01 10:06 am Anonymous Two out of three quoted developers that reacted negative wish to remain anonymous, whilst number three is already safely retired…yikes! 2004-09-01 12:22 pm Anonymous No, but you will have more people fed up that their Windows XP is infested with worms… and people will get frustrated enough to ask their local geek to help them, and hopefully they can learn to use FLOSS. So, let me get it straight: people who do not want to learn how to use Windows will suddenly learn how to use much more stupidity unforgiving UNIX-like OS, and same time stop asking local geeks to help them with their Linux? Linux, in my opinion, definitely needs larger home desktop market share. Linux advocates’ claims on inherently more secure OS for masses are unsubstantiated at that point. They are predominantly based on anekdotal evidence of geeks running servers in controlled environment. When Linux gets to the hands of regular users, those who can’t learn how to use Windows, initial results could be devastating as it were shown by infestation of Linux computers in Stanford U. I am looking forward for Linux to get visible presense on the desktop. It is nececcary for the sake of Linux: to finally get rid of those silly buffer overflows in image and document processing libraries, allowing a hacker to infect Linux computer when user does something harmless: like viewing BMP picture or reading PDF document. More Linux on desktop, more careless users running it- better it’ll become for these same home users. As for Microsoft, I wish it comes with some ridiculous claims of, say, having truly 3-D desktop by 2008, outfitted with AI and some other software wonders. It should keep straight face claiming it’ll happen. Then, OSS community will have a target to hit and a goal to achieve. OSS can actually make it happen- like these Mozilla and GUI geeks trying to match Longhorn promised features. I would also guess that OSS will be there first, may be in Alpha, but with something tangible. Never underestimate capabilities of a community when it faces major competitive threat. 2004-09-01 3:55 pm Anonymous First of all I’m 100% avid Linux user Open Source has already made gains. True Most of the “technology” going into Longhorn was adapted from Apple’s OSX platform (spotlight,Safari,quartz). Spotlight? There’ve been talks about such file system features for over a decade, and as it seems Reiser will be the first to get there. But problem with Reiser is that it can’t be mass adopted. Gnome and KDE can’t afford to make Reiser only features. There was a little talk on lkml to make possibility of adopting special open and other functions to make inclusion of such possibility a reality. But for now there wasn’t even a serious talk. btw. Plans about Spotlight cover about 2% of WinFS specs therefore it’s fast implementation. Adapted from OSX??? Does your planet exist in our reality??? Safari? What now? Apple invented browser or what? Quartz? Quartz in fact is not really different than Apple previous display system. Two differences only. Before display postscript now display PDF to avoid paying to Adobe. Seecond difference is inclusion of OpenGL and Hardware acceleration support (Which is not really difficult if your system supports 2 cards). But still no invention. Further more Open Source has or is actively developing competition. A good example is the DoD funded Reiser4 file system which is already in final testing stages. True. This decission proves the opinion I have long heald. The programming world has changed and Microsoft can’t keep up anymore. Only marketing can keep them afloat for now, but except their fall soon. Problem with keeping up is that they don’t need to keep up (they have it’s user base). Where’s my proof?? Look at your comment about Apple inventions. You belive in Apple so much that they invented hot water. btw. Apple and OSS are two completely different things. Apple uses OSS only and ONLY when it seems that it would be of use 2004-09-01 4:45 pm Anonymous The security hole plagued OS didn’t end MS’ credibility & this might? 2004-09-01 10:11 pm Anonymous Windows is only as good as it is because of Linux “compitition” I think you mean “Apple” and “Novell”. 2004-09-02 12:16 am Anonymous Linux, in my opinion, definitely needs larger home desktop market share. Linux advocates’ claims on inherently more secure OS for masses are unsubstantiated at that point. They are predominantly based on anekdotal evidence of geeks running servers in controlled environment. No, it needs more business desktop usage. The gateway to the home desktop is the business desktop. In general, people will buy the same type of computer for use at home as they have at work (historically, so they could pirate software from work, but in general just to be compatible). 2004-09-02 12:55 pm Anonymous When they cut all features targeted for end user – what’s left in Longhorn compared to WinXP? I believe the only new feature of Longhorn will be embedded anti-piracy measures.