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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-04-25 Print this article Print

Sullivan also addressed claims that Longhorns search facilities, and even WinFS, will offer less innovation than that found in Apple Computer Inc.s upcoming Tiger release and the next version of the Linux desktop, from companies like Novell Inc. "Search is important, of course it is, and there will be desktop search in Longhorn. But there are two key differentiators between WinFS and the search facilities available in Apples upcoming Tiger and in the upcoming Linux desktops.
Novell claims Novell Linux Desktop 9 will surpass Windows. Click here to read more.
"With WinFS, we are building an infrastructure that organizes your data in a way you dont have to search for it. I want to be able to have the system intelligently organize my data. This will be beyond what Tiger has. Search is just a tiny piece of this paradigm; by itself it doesnt deliver the scenarios that are meaningful to users. We need a system that keeps data from getting lost in the first place and then exposes it in a variety of ways that allow you to get to what you want," Sullivan said. "The second differentiator is the fact that we will deliver a system supported by every type of hardware. It will run on thousands of different hardware devices and thousands of different applications on top of it," he said. Microsoft is thinking about organization and visualization and keeping things from getting lost in the first place. "Sure we will have search—it will be great and fast—but WinFS is much more than that. It will take us a bit longer to do, and were fine with that because when we do we will have solved the problem in a much more meaningful and elegant way," Sullivan said. WinFS will be in beta by the time the client version of Longhorn ships, currently on track for late 2006 but in time for the holiday season, he said. Gates will also talk about two new partner programs. First, the Windows logo program for Longhorn will be updated to include a silver and gold tier. A gold "designed for Windows" certified logo will mean that the device or application fully exploits Longhorn demonstrably better than those that are not certified this way. A silver logo will mean that the device or application does not fully exploit Longhorn. The other program will address an issue facing many enterprises: what hardware to buy now, if the enterprise is in its PC hardware buying cycle, that will take advantage of Longhorn. While Microsoft will not be announcing the minimum or recommended system requirements for Longhorn on Monday, as these are still not final, Sullivan said, Microsoft will "articulate a program that we can then deliver over the course of the next month to OEMs." That will essentially advise OEMs that if a user buys a PC that meets the minimum XP silver requirements and is a midrange, mainstream computer, with 512MB of RAM and a graphics subsystem that supports the new Longhorn Display Driver model (LDDM)—virtually all of the discreet graphics subsystems will support LDDM, while integrated shared memory ones will not —it "will run Longhorn great," Sullivan said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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