The Dirty Little Secret About Longhorn

Contrary to what many believe, Longhorn won't be built on top of the .Net Framework, we hear. But that might not be a bad thing.

Developers say theres a dirty little secret about Longhorn that few Softies are discussing publicly: Longhorn wont be based on the .Net Framework.

Were still expecting that the .Net Framework will ship with Longhorn–on the CD and/or "in the box" in some way. But the .Net Framework wont be at Longhorns core, we hear.

Instead, the .Net Framework will be the core for a small subset of Longhorn, specifically the WAP (Windows API Platform), which consists primarily of the "Avalon" Windows presentation system and the "Indigo" Windows communications system.

(Maybe Microsofts revelation on Wednesday that the .Net Framework 2.0 beta is breaking applications has something to do with this? Were waiting for official word back from Microsoft.)

Were guessing that Microsoft will maintain that nothing has changed–that no one ever promised that the .Net Framework 2.0 would be the foundation for Longhorn.

But developer types weve been chatting with seem to find this update a newsworthy revelation.

"The original plan for Longhorn was to build lots of components on top of the next version of the .Net Framework," according to one of our developer sources, who requested anonymity. "But given how late [.Net Framework 2.0] is, and how new it would be, [Microsoft chairman] Bill Gates realized it would be foolish to build important pieces of Longhorn on top of .Net."

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