Concurrent Longhorn development

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-04-26 Print this article Print

Officials said Microsoft is developing the Longhorn client and server releases concurrently, as it did in the early phases of Windows XP. "You shouldnt think of them as being exactly concurrent, but you should think of them as being very consistent," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsofts Windows server division, in an interview.

Microsoft has been developing Longhorn along a single tree, with Longhorn client and server builds done in parallel and with betas to be released on the same day for both. "But as we approach the release date for the client, the server will still be at an earlier form of release candidate," Muglia said. "The server requires more bake time than the client. ... The server will ship in the order of three to six months after the client."

Subsequently, Microsoft officials said that the client will ship in the first half of 2006 and that they are ready to cut some "minor" Longhorn features to meet that deadline.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a recent interview that the company has "taken a hit on Longhorn—a hit in features more than a hit in schedule. We continue to drive Longhorn forward, but theres no doubt that well take something of a hit in order to make sure we can get the right work done on Windows XP [Service Pack] 2 and the server." Ballmer declined to say what features might be cut.

Sources close to the Windows team said that none of the major new features demonstrated at the PDC—the "Avalon" presentation layer, the "WinFS" storage engine and the "Indigo" collaboration components—will be cut.

That suits users such as Riley, who said he does not want Microsoft to ship any product that has problems with application support and security.

"We are a business," Riley said. "What we have now works. Dont have us replace it with something that does not, then have me going through a fire drill to get things working again. Delays usually hurt Microsofts cash flow more than its customers. Nothing should be shipped until it is 100 percent ready to be used."

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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