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 searchit will be great and fastbut 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.