Having virtualization at the kernel level "should give you a system performance boost and also add to the security model, so yes, this is a good way to go," said Robert. "I believe the day is coming where someone will send you a fully configured virtual server as a file with, say, an application already preinstalled, and maybe even customized to your environment so all you have to do is plug it in and make it go and maybe make a few tweaks to the software," he said. Persinger said that while this is a good concept, "there is too little information beyond the usual the next great revolution hype to really understand how itll be implemented upon actual release."Even as Longhorns feature set is finalized, the Windows Server development team is already looking at features for releases beyond Longhorn, including Longhorn Release 2 and "Blackcomb," the version of Windows that will follow Longhorn and is expected to ship around 2010. The focus in Longhorn Release 2 will be management, getting "Monad" technologya new scripting/monitoring shell that enables command-line administration capabilities in a more automated wayintegrated into the server system and improving the user interface, he said. Blackcomb will be centered on model-based management, an area Microsoft is working on more and more. There will also be more integration of the companys Dynamic Systems Initiative and in areas such as defining models across the system, Muglia said. Source4s Persinger agreed that more and better management should be a focus beyond Longhorn, but he sees the "Monad" command-line improvements "at least partially a style push for the Unix/Linux nerds. Obviously, Microsoft isnt going to openly admit theyve made a decision because of that, but its something I still find quite hilarious," he said. Click here to read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols column "No Monad. No Longhorn?" For his part, Robert said he is a little tired of the back and forth between the GUI and the command line. "For years, the command line was the way to go if you really wanted to get under the hood and make things happen. Then Microsoft made everything easier with the GUI, so you didnt have to rely on the command line as much, so now they want to make the command line a focus again? I dont get it," he said. When asked what he would most like to see Microsoft do with the next Windows, Riley replied tongue-in-cheek: "Release it sometime this decade." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Riley was even more skeptical. "It sounds like [Microsoft is] trying to wipe out another add-on market. In the past, their track record for first releases has been really bad for that. Ask me again after it comes out," he said.