Windows XP SP2 on
Track"> Windows XP SP2 is also on track to ship this summer, Sullivan said. While Microsoft had said it would ship XP SP2 by the end of June, that has slipped "by a few weeks and [it] will certainly be released in the third quarter of this year," Sullivan said, adding that Microsoft is preparing Release Candidate 2 for the service pack, which will be distributed in the next few weeks. "Who knows what feedback well get from that, which could impact it again, but the release date could also be moved forward," he said."This update of that Longhorn developer preview is focused on hardware vendors and the driver development kit, the LDK. This is all prebeta code, and the developers should not compare the bits we hand out here to the ones we handed out at PDC, as this is about the LDK for the hardware community, and there are components that will actually be rolled back because we have made progress. We want drivers and we want 64-bit drivers. "In the Longhorn timeframe, it is not unreasonable to assume that a 64-bit machine is the mainstream shipping PC and so we should all be building 64-bit drivers and we should be building native Longhorn drivers," he said. Gates will talk about seamless computing when he takes the stage Tuesday. He will relate that to the hardware audience by talking about imperatives for both hardware and software. His talk will center on three main areas, starting with connected systems and some of the networking advances that have been made that will enable new scenarios. He plans to talk about the notion of being information-driven, with the hardware trends of storage capacity outpacing Moores Law and the trend of file system and data retrieval and things such as WinFS really driving the software component of the storage model forward to enable a "whole new level of information-driven scenarios that, combined with connected systems and Web services and advanced hardware networking, will really get us to this notion of seamless computing," Sullivan said. "The third pivot is around really rich and consistent user interface that gets the things the user wants done with a minimal involvement by him," he added. Gates will do some demonstrations around the 64-bit desktop and will talk about how 64-bit computing is ready for prime time on the desktop. He will announce near feature-parity with Windows XP Professional in the 64-bit client for extended systems, "AMD and whatever Intel does in that space," which will ship in the last quarter of this year, Sullivan said. Gates also will announce that this 64-bit Windows release will include support for Visual Studio .Net, so users are given the tools that allow the development and deployment of 64-bit applications, as well as support for the .Net Framework, Version 1.1. Gates plans to show the next step in Microsofts vision for the "Concept PC," which took the Athens concept PC shown last year even further. He will show how technologies within Athens are shipping in products todayfeatures such as high-DPI display, computer-telephony integration, voice over IP (VOIP) and biometric authentication. This year, Gates will show the Windows Home Concept, expected in the 2006 to 2008 timeframe, which is an evolution of the Media Center PC. The demo from the prototype Microsoft has built is
based on the "Symphony" bits.
"Apart from the industrial design and the integration of things like cable modem and HDTV tuners, VOIP gateway integration, its quiet and doesnt generate a lot of heat," Sullivan said. "We are putting this up as the poster child and saying, This is what were talking about when we say combine hardware and software innovation to create a great experience."
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While some of this functionality is present in our soon-to-be-available Media Center PCs, Gates will demo gadgets such as a remote control with biometric authentication, so it knows the users favorites, as well as a built-in auxiliary display and microphone.
If the user were to receive a phone call while watching television, a notification would pop up and the live TV would be paused as the call is answered and broadcast on the surround-sound speakers. The system also would recognize the phone number as it connects with Outlook and would make available any e-mails from the caller, Sullivan said.
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WinHEC attendees also can expect to receive a Longhorn build, but this will not be an alpha version of the product but rather an update of the developer preview of the software that was handed out at last falls Professional Developers Conference.