FAQ: Getting a handle on Longhorn
By Ina Fried, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: April 15, 2005, 11:27 AM PT
Say what you want about Longhorn, just don't call it Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Windows chief Jim Allchin, who earlier bristled at suggestions that Longhorn had turned into "Shorthorn," said Microsoft has plenty of new stuff in store for the next version of Windows. Longhorn may be arriving more slowly than expected and it might not have everything that was once planned, but Allchin maintains "It's a big deal."
Among the features in the OS are security improvements, some snazzy new graphics, and a new means of searching and organizing information. Rather than having to remember the single folder where something is stored, users will be able to put documents in any number of virtual folders. They can also establish folders that will automatically update, such as "files edited in the last week" or "documents from Jane."
In addition, Microsoft is trying to simplify an array of other tasks, such as adding a PC to a home network or connecting a laptop to a projector.
What is Longhorn?
Longhorn is the code name for the next version of Windows. A server version of Longhorn is also planned.
What is a longhorn?
It's a type of steer. It's also the name of a bar at the base of British Columbia's Whistler mountain, on the way to Blackcomb. Whistler was the code name for Windows XP, while Blackcomb was the moniker for a version of Windows that was originally scheduled to follow Whistler.
When will Longhorn arrive?
Microsoft has promised that Longhorn will be widely available on computers for the 2006 holiday buying season. A beta, or test, version is planned for "early summer," probably June or July. The server version is slated for 2007.
So what's in this Longhorn thing?
Longhorn has evolved quite a bit since Microsoft first demonstrated an early version in 2003. The company has dropped plans to include its all-new WinFS file system and has also changed the way it's implementing a new Web services architecture, known as Indigo, and a new graphics engine, dubbed Avalon.
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