Microsofts OS Future

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-08-30 Print this article Print

Another developer who requested anonymity said: "Longhorn is now officially renamed Little Steer. For those of you without knowledge of animal husbandry, ranching or veterinary medicine, a steer is a bovine that has not reached sexual maturity and is castrated. The emasculation of Microsofts efforts is reason enough to suspect that Windows will never produce a robust line of operating systems. Imagine all those brilliant minds in Redmond and the best they can do is change the labeling on the box for another XP variant." Ross Chappell, a partner with EPI Internet Direct in Markham, Ontario, said it seems that Microsoft realized it was time to deliver. "I think Microsoft made the right move. Ive been in the computer industry for over 30 years, and if there is one thing I know, its that you have to know is when its time to scale back and start delivering," Chappell said. "Just about every software development project starts with grand expectations, and I dont think theres anything wrong with defining a big, ambitious vision. "Visions point the way to where we want to be and help us to achieve our dreams. These dreams can become nightmares, though, and its a wise manager who knows when its time to stop dreaming and wake up," he said. "I like the concepts behind WinFS, but its too important a piece to rush or do wrong."
Richard Marshall, a retired developer who says he did software and hardware testing and integration for years at a few major corporations, said, "The reason I feel gutting Longhorn is a major mistake is that if Linux keeps getting better and easier for everyday users to install, configure and use for the desktop, and Apple and OS 10.x stays strong, Microsoft needs a new OS with the original planned features on which to compete.
"A significantly downgraded Longhorn will flop in the marketplace and be a major disaster for Microsoft," Marshall said. "XP can carry the day until Longhorn is ready. Microsoft needs to provide another major upgrade in a year with an all-new Internet Explorer and a few other catchy additions to carry the day until Longhorn is fully baked." Click here for a review of the latest Longhorn build. David Wilson, a developer with Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co Inc., said he hopes Microsoft uses the delay to make the infrastructure more secure. "I suspect, and hope, there is more to the change of heart than availability of the modules at the release date. I hope Microsoft is slowing themselves so they can build the secure infrastructure first and then build on top of it the miracle features," Wilson said. "There is no doubt in my mind the features in Microsoft products are the best design to tame any global infrastructure easily," he said. "If they were designed on a stone secure platform from the start, there would be no controversy as to what OS will link the world together." Regarding Web services, Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, based in Waltham, Mass., said, "Actually, this might be good news on the Web services and SOA [service-oriented architecture] front, since much of the intellectual property resides within Indigo for the runtime and Avalon for the presentation layer. "Not much hinged on the new file system, collaboration features or other aspects that surely pushed the delivery off to 2008," Schmelzer said. "So, with Indigo out in the mainstream a good two years earlier, that should give Microsoft more visibility and credibility in the market." Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

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Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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