Spare Us From All Windows Interim Releases

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-02-26 Print this article Print

Microsoft's past history with interim releases may be reason enough for the company and customers to worry about the so-called Windows XP Reloaded. Show us the beef: Windows Longhorn.

You heard it here first: Windows Longhorn, the follow-on to Windows XP, wont be on store shelves until 2008—some three years later than the 2005 date Microsoft announced last May. While even the most pessimistic of developer sources now predicts a 2007 launch, I will put my stake in for yet another year. This is just a guess, but Ive been right before. I was the first to predict that Windows 2000 wouldnt be out in 1998—back when it was code-named Whistler. And that delay must spell big trouble for the software vendor. Windows XP customers are mostly happy—and the security-oriented Service Pack (SP2) due later this year will most likely be a free upgrade.
However, the vast legions of Windows 98 customers show little evidence of budging off their venerable, but workable platform. About 20 percent of Windows desktops worldwide run 98, or the even older Windows 95.
You and I suffer more from these older desktops than their actual users do—Microsoft has cut back on security patches for its older operating systems, which leaves these systems more open to hacks, worms and zombie attacks. But today, staring down the barrel of four more years without a meaningful Windows upgrade, Microsoft blinked. Or is in the process of blinking. Microsoft revealed on Thursday that it is deciding on whether it might be better to release an interim version of Windows with a host of new features, capabilities, and (unlike SP2), a price tag. This interim release, whatever its form, is dubbed XP Reloaded. Microsoft, it appears, wants to prime its Windows revenue pump between now and Longhorn. Next Page: Windows XP Reloaded: Bad Idea

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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