Latehorn Time Frame May Be Hard to Swallow

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2003-10-25 Print this article Print

Analysis: When developers arrive this week in Los Angeles for their annual feast at the Microsoft table, they'll get more appetizers than entrees.

When developers arrive this week in Los Angeles for their annual feast at the Microsoft table, theyll get more appetizers than entrees. Considering the ravenous appetites in this crowd, its surprising to see them flocking to a place where the sign reads "Dinner will be served in three years"—which is when the "Longhorn" version of Windows is scheduled to arrive.

Microsoft promised developers an easy transition from authoring active Web pages to disclosing and consuming Web services. The companys tools and technologies aimed at those ends took a while to deliver, with a gap of many years between the last Visual Studio and the first Visual Studio .Net, but the result satisfied many developers as worth the wait.

For some developers, however, another three years wait is too long. Theyve made promises to their front-office managers, and they need to eat right now. The open-source deli is open; the Apple bistro is serving fresh-sliced Panther, no waiting. Microsoft is betting that most enterprises are still digesting Web-based applications and that theyre willing to wait.

For those who choose to place themselves in the hands of the Microsoft maitre d, we suggest the following strategies: Request lists of ingredients; any modern establishment is proud to disclose the standards on which its offerings are based. Beware of allergic reactions; be certain that todays and tomorrows menus can coexist with what you ate yesterday. And if you arent sure what the menu descriptions mean, ask; aged beef may be a premium delicacy, but sliced "Latehorn" may be merely jerky.

Discuss this in the eWEEK forum. Technology Editor Peter Coffee can be reached at

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel