Finalizing the Feature Set
When will the feature set be more final? Around Beta 1, where well hand it out and see what people think. But we are very clear on the vision and the core feature set, and well make the final decision once we do the beta. But you will see a general push to quality beyond what we have achieved to date, and that will be across the board.I am sure that you have seen the recent concern expressed by members of the open-source community about specific Longhorn features like XAML and Avalon and how they plan to address these, claiming that these moves could be the "final takeover for the Web." How do you respond to that? I take their response as flattering, but how they jump to see this as a plan to take over the Web, that is ludicrous. Do people want to have a safe browsing experience? I think so. The new application model in terms of XAML and the like is good. But we are not doing this to make them concerned. Some may say that the fact that they want to duplicate these features is a sign that the open-source community is again playing catch-up. Absolutely. They are cloners. There was discussion within Microsoft about a possible interim client release between Windows XP and Longhorn. Why did you decide in the end not to do this? We looked at what we should do. No six-month period goes by where we do not ask ourselves what is happening in the market and what do customers need. We didnt plan on doing all the things we are currently doing in XP SP2. So, no, there is no plan to do an intermediate client release because we can get Longhorn done. But this is the longest time release between Windows client releases in Microsofts history. Do I wish we could ship it earlier? Of course, but it is what it is, and what it is is the most comprehensive client release we have ever tried to do. Windows XP is a great and solid base, and it is doing very well. Weve been able to stair-step it with a couple of versions of the Media Center, multiple versions of the Tablet, and now a 64-bit version. So we have been able to come out with a whole lot of different releases all based on this core, so the way I view it is that every long period of time we come out with a new architectural shift. Even XP, although it was a new technology over Windows 98, was not an architectural shift. Longhorn is an architectural shift in terms of the capabilities There are truly deep architectural changes in it. So I would expect it to come out and then there will be offshoots of that. The cycle is architectural [followed by] intermediate, architectural [followed by an] intermediate [release]. Did you move a lot of the Longhorn team to work on XP SP2? I took a lot of people off [Longhorn] to go back and work on that, and that makes me even more determined that when Longhorn ships we are not going to have to go back and do that. So it makes me even harder core about the foundation and the basics, whether it be deployment, security, reliability or compatibility. Next page: The upgrade issue.
For a look at the latest Longhorn build, click here.