Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Operating Systems Software

Microsoft Officially Shows Longhorn, WinFX 681

Posted by simoniker
from the antlers-mounted-on-wall dept.
Theaetetus writes "Microsoft today unveiled its most detailed look yet at its new OS, Longhorn, due in 2006, during Bill Gates' keynote speech at the company's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. An article at Internet Week describes some of the goals: avoiding viruses, worms, and 'building apps that are as smart as Outlook.'" The company "also unveiled 'WinFX,' which it described as a new application programming model for Windows that is the evolution of its .NET programming framework."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Officially Shows Longhorn, WinFX

Comments Filter:
  • by ChaoticChaos (603248) * <l3sr-v4cfNO@SPAMspamex.com> on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:48PM (#7321196)
    "building apps that are as smart as Outlook."

    I was hoping they'd shoot higher than that.
    • Re:That's a goal? (Score:2, Informative)

      by GuyMannDude (574364)

      That was my reaction, too, but in all fairness a large part of the virus-infection problem lies with the end user who clicks on every attachment they receive. Perhaps Microsoft should put some effort into making an Online Help or "Intro to Windows" that's interesting enough to make the average user sit through it once. And make sure to stress some basic security practices in these presentations.

      GMD

      • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daemonik (171801) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:54PM (#7321285) Homepage
        I beg to differ. Many Outlook viri are embedded into HTML messages that require no user action to run.
        • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jon3k (691256) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:02PM (#7321383)
          Exactly. There's nothing you can do about stopping someone from emailing a virus. You can stop it at an email gateway of course, but nothings 100%. I accept that.

          What I don't accept is virus that are automatically executed simply by viewing an email in the preview pane. As soon as you click on it, you're infected.

          We've mostly got visual basic scripting to thank for that.
          • Re:That's a goal? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Durrik (80651) <pwright.ryksyll@com> on Monday October 27, 2003 @05:16PM (#7322769) Homepage

            Exactly. There's nothing you can do about stopping someone from emailing a virus. You can stop it at an email gateway of course, but nothings 100%. I accept that.

            What I don't accept is virus that are automatically executed simply by viewing an email in the preview pane. As soon as you click on it, you're infected.

            We've mostly got visual basic scripting to thank for that.


            I have to agree. What really gets me is I see the title of the message, right click on it so I can delete it, before I can delete it the virus scanner on my machine goes off and the menu goes away. A mail goes to my IT support and they yell at me for downloading viruses. And I get something like 20-40 of these a day.

            And the rules in outlook to delete the messages don't work worth anything. Most of them say they're from microsoft. So I set up a rule to say 'if its from microsoft and it contains an attachment delete it' but does this work? No. Also alot of them say 'here is the qmail program' and I have a rule to turf those, but it only gets about half of them.

            There is nothing you can do about these viruses as a user of an exchange server with Outlook. But we have to use it for meetings and resource scheduling, which is a piece of crap! Microsoft has almost a monopoly on this in small to meduim bussinesses. I've also used two of the other big time mail/scheduling software (lotus notes and novell groupwise) and they're crap too. But we can't use gnu in the office right now, damn SCO.
            • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Informative)

              by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Monday October 27, 2003 @05:48PM (#7323091) Journal
              1. Tool - Options - Security - Zone
              2. Change this to "Restricted Sites"
              3. Zone Settings - OK
              4. Disable everything
              Outlook is now sanitized for your protection!

              Now why this isn't the default, well that's something we can blame on MS, but its not unavoidable. Oh and, just because I haven't done it before (and if I don't someone will):

              5. ?
              6. Profit!

        • Re:That's a goal? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by nocomment (239368) on Monday October 27, 2003 @05:00PM (#7322588) Homepage Journal
          except that in OE 6, attachements that _could_ contain bad material are disabled. Such as Word doc's. Imagine that, microsoft blocking their own file formats. The first thing you have to do is disable that feature so you can even see your word doc. *sigh* Glad I use evolution...although I miss the CLI more ane more :-/

      • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:26PM (#7321604)
        in all fairness a large part of the virus-infection problem lies with the end user who clicks on every attachment they receive.

        And Outlook is to blame for this, because it LETS THEM.

        There is absolutely no reason to launch an executable file from an email attachment. If you attach a non-executable document file to an email, sure, let the application that filetype is associated with open it up from within Outlook, but any attempt to execute an EXE/COM/BAT/PIF/SCR file should result in 'not allowed.'

        User security policies are only as good as what the system allows the user to get away with. A system that tells you DON'T DO THIS but then lets you do it anyway is worthless.
    • Re:That's a goal? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by the Man in Black (102634) <jasonrashaad.gmail@com> on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:52PM (#7321248) Homepage
      Especially when he was just shitting on Outlook [microsoft.com] about 5 seconds ago with the "clunky" comment.

      Marketing, marketing, and still more marketing.
    • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ianoo (711633) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:54PM (#7321279) Journal
      "As smart as Outlook"?

      They mean smart as in crippling attachment functionality so that it's impossible to open anything even if you know the source and it can't possibly be harmful, like a PDF?

      They mean smart as in built-in anti-competitive DRM designed to squeeze others out of the marketplace and stopping me doing what I want to do with my e-mail?

      They mean smart as in the Outlook Web Access Client which doesn't work probably in any browser other than MSIE and uses (as always) their non-standard DHTML object model?

      They mean smart as in so wonderfully secure that Napster script kiddie Fanning can reverse the password encryption with his new contact updater software?

      Yeah I can see that's real smart. Microsoft Smart (TM).
      • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Zathrus (232140) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:00PM (#7321356) Homepage
        They mean smart as in crippling attachment functionality so that it's impossible to open anything even if you know the source and it can't possibly be harmful, like a PDF?

        Sounds like a configuration issue on your end. I have no problems viewing PDFs, JPGs, or other non-harmful attachments. You can even tell Outlook to stop annoying you with the bogus "potentially harmful" message if you're sure about it.

        On the other hand, we recently discovered that our Exchange backend is configured to automatically delete certain attachments. We couldn't send an Access .mdb file via email -- even between corporate accounts.

        They mean smart as in the Outlook Web Access Client which doesn't work probably in any browser other than MSIE and uses (as always) their non-standard DHTML object model?

        I call BS -- I use Outlook Web Access with Firebird from home with absolutely no problems. It works differently than it does if you use IE, but it still works.

        There's plenty to bash MS for, and Outlook is a lovely example of overly complex, overly insecure software, but at least keep it to the facts.
        • Re:That's a goal? (Score:3, Informative)

          by dominator (61418)
          It's wrong to think that PDFs are non-harmful. PDFs can have embedded javascript inside of them, and can embed arbitrary things like EXEs inside of them too. It's trivial to set the /OpenAction of a document to a particular java script, which then executes the embedded worm/virus inside of the PDF file. Or "format c:\", etc...

          My old company, www.appligent.com, wrote a tool to work around this. I'd feel negligant if I didn't inform you about APActiveCheck and APStripFiles. APStripFiles is free ($).

          http://w
      • They mean smart as in built-in anti-competitive DRM designed to squeeze others out of the marketplace and stopping me doing what I want to do with my e-mail?

        Why don't you simply say that you don't understand what the DRM in Outlook 2003 is or how it works and haven't bothered to educate yourself about it?
      • Re:That's a goal? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fahrvergnugen (228539)
        I agree with the parent in spirit, but just to be fair & combat FUD:

        Outlook Web Access is built into the Exchange server, not the Outlook client. Further, OWA works very, very well under Mozilla.
    • Re:That's a goal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:01PM (#7321368)
      Bass are relatively easy to catch. Trout hard.

      Why? As it turns out it's because Bass are pretty smart fish. They can make generalizations. This thing has certain aspects to it that edible things have. Let's see if it's good to eat.

      Who knew that such things as Red Devils, Rapalas and rubber worms would come along?

      Trout, on the other hand, are primitive and stupid. They rely on hardcoded pattern recognition to find food. If the available food doesn't match the pattern a trout can starve among plenty. Or ignore your fly.

      The problem with Outlook isn't that it's stupid. It's too smart. It makes decisions for the user ( who should, legitimately, be the sole source of intelligence when reading mail. Post your luser joke here).

      It's like a Bass. Too easy to catch virii and malicious code because it recognizes that it's something that might be able to run. Well hell, let's try to run it and see what happens.

      Gotcha!

      KFG

    • I mean look at Java trying with its "Virtual Machine", it can't do half the things that Outlook can. SURE it can read emails if you write some code, but can those emails infect the machine with a virus and bring down your database servers, email all of your contacts and format your hard-drive.

      Outlook is the ULTIMATE application, it is a VIRTUAL OPERATING SYSTEM which is AUTOMATICALLY logged in as the administrator.

      What more could you possibly want...

      Except threading...
      And a SPAM filter...
      And not going b
  • MS's bottom line... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm. Not many people are purchasing Office '03, and they're not releasing their next OS until '06. Wonder if their cash reserve will sustain them for three years?
  • The company "also unveiled 'WinFX,' which it described as a new application programming model for Windows that is the evolution of its .NET programming framework.

    GEEZ! Just when the .Net rewrite was just getting underway!

  • Um.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by downix (84795) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:50PM (#7321223) Homepage
    Ok, so they've taken over the bottom of the screen with their explorer bar, now they're taking over the righthand side to show off stock reports? A few more years of this, there won't be any room left on the screen for apps.
    • A few more years of this, there won't be any room left on the screen for apps.

      That's a feature, not a bug - if Microsoft keeps flexing it's monopolistic muscle, in a few years, there won't be any apps - only MS embedded 'programs' like Internet Exploder, Outlook, etc. So who needs screen space? :)
    • Re:Um.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      Are you talking about that developer beta release for a product not due out for another two years? It sure would be silly if you were making judgements on it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    building apps that are as smart as Outlook

    Mod Bill Gates up +1, ROTFLMAO!

  • "During Gates' address, a Microsoft staffer gave a demonstration of Longhorn, highlighting among other features the "sidebar," an area on the right side of the screen capable of dynamically displaying messaging lists, stock quotes, news feeds, times and pictures."

    Can't you do that with kappdoc....???
    I'd like to see some screenshots of this 'new interface'.

    The article rambles on a lot, but doesn't actually tell you anything. And..well.. I've never really tried it, but is Outlook that amazing :-/
  • This means nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ePhil_One (634771) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:51PM (#7321231) Journal
    This OS is currently DUE three years from now, and is surely doomed to additional slippage, feature changes, complete rewrites, etc.

    These announcements are nothing more than vague future directions...

    • These announcements are nothing more than vague future directions...

      It worked for them in the early 1990s, and they're hoping that it'll work again. However, they're facing a much more saturated and cynical market than before, so I think their success will be limited by this.
    • by NanoGator (522640)
      "These announcements are nothing more than vague future directions... "

      So.. I just have to ask: Where's Linux headed next?
      • by Tony (765) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:33PM (#7321694) Journal
        So.. I just have to ask: Where's Linux headed next?

        World domination.

        Duh.
        • by NanoGator (522640)
          "World domination."

          Okay. If their goal is world domination, then the community needs to think a little farther ahead. I mean, you can dismiss Microsoft's comments as hype, but give them a little credit, they have a long-term ambitious goal for Windows. It'd be really nice to see that with Linux. It'd be nice to hear "Our goal is to create a new simplified UI for Linux in order to attract a wider user base. To accomplish this, we're designing a new UI standard and making it available so that Linux's p
  • by Vaevictis666 (680137) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:52PM (#7321240)
    Geforce FX, WinFX - this is starting to get about as in style as neglecting the leading E on words such as Xtreme and Xpress.

    Yes, the FX comes from effects, I can buy that on a video card (going for video effects) but how does that tie in to an application framework?

  • by loconet (415875)
    " The company also unveiled "WinFX," which it described as a new application programing model for Windows that is the evolution of its .NET programing framework."

    Seriously, what the hell does that mean? It seems like it's something they've thrown together lately to patch up any .NET messes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So ".NET" hasn't even really hit the ground running yet, and already it's sucessor is being announced? Too bad the Osborne curse [devili.iki.fi] never seems to affect MS when they do the same things that Osborne did.
  • How about this... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jared_hanson (514797)
    building apps that are easier to use than Outlook.

    Apple has it right, they build incredibly intelligent apps, with a minimalistic approach to user interface that has only the options people want. The result is that the apps are very easy to use and they look pretty to boot.

    Do yourself a favor, switch to Mac now, you won't regret it. You'll have a easy to use desktop system with strong UNIX underpinnings. Plus, three years between OS releases is a long enough time to significantly erode Microsofts marke
    • by Mike Hawk (687615) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:00PM (#7321354) Journal
      Mod -1: Corporate Shill.

      I turn to TV and a hotmail account when I want advertisements, thanks.
    • by Belgand (14099)
      Well, that's also always been the downfall of Apple, you can only do what they think you might want to do with them and bugger all for anyone else. The biggest problem I've always had when using a Mac was that I felt like my hands were tied in a way I don't get with other systems nearly as much (not even Windows). I can't really change the system very much and most of my programs are too minimalistic lacking reasonable options or simply making things that much harder to understand.

      The iPod is a great littl
      • by JamieF (16832) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:47PM (#7321814) Homepage
        The trick is that everybody wants just one more feature, but not everybody agrees on what that one more feature should be.

        If you add the most frequently requested features... "OH MY GOD IT'S BLOATWARE! The preferences are so confusing! It takes so much disk space / memory / time to load!"

        If you leave anything out... "WHAT? I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY SHIPPED THIS PIECE OF CRAP WITHOUT IT! They must either be retards, or they think I'm too stupid to want it, or they think they're smarter than me!"

        Even if you try to find a balance, there's gonna be some guy who is pissed off that you omitted his pet feature and kept a bunch of crap he doesn't want.
  • by vivek7006 (585218) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:52PM (#7321255) Homepage
    "We need your feedback. We need your involvement to get this right."

    Go open-source !!
  • An article at Internet Week describes some of the goals: avoiding viruses, worms, and 'building apps that are as smart as Outlook.

    One of these 3 goals says much about the level of innovation Microsoft is capable of. Can you find which one?

    (the two others too in fact, they should have been met a long time ago really. Oh well, I guess I'll just stay with Linux for now ...)
  • by Horny Smurf (590916) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:53PM (#7321260) Journal
    Considering that longhorn won't be out until 2005^h6^h7, this sounds like a last-ditch attempt to stem the tide of small enterprise businesses which are rapidly switching to linux. Unless MS can show off some new functionality that can help the bottom line, their days are numbered.
    • Unless MS can show off some new functionality that can help the bottom line, their days are numbered.

      If you like to bet, I'm game : I'll even let you bet 20 to 1 that Microsoft's days are numbered. How about it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:54PM (#7321278)

    1. avoid viruses
    2. avoid worms
    3. as smart as outlook.

    Pick any two as long as you don't pick 3.
  • by Slashdolt (166321) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:54PM (#7321281)
    Every time my Outlook crashes, it just starts itself right back up again! It starts itself up several times each day! All by itself!!!

    --
    Slashdolt
  • Improvements (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SKPhoton (683703) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:55PM (#7321290) Homepage
    Well Microsoft is making a big point saying that security is their top priority. The closest they came to anything security related was "addressing problems with viruses and worms." Hopefully it will be something more than a half-assed virus scanner. If it isn't halfway decent, people will blindly believe that it will be enough.

    Let's hope Microsoft also does things we have been suggesting for who knows how long: firewall enabled by default, etc. Oh, and go through your OS and disable useless things such as Windows Messenger! Yes, it might hurt Microsoft's feelings if they read Slashdot for 5 minutes but who knows, they might actually get something useful out of it!
  • Goals? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mugnyte (203225) * on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:55PM (#7321297) Journal
    The goals of this OS seems pretty much the same as the last one. The productivity gains of having a "sidebar" are probably the same as the MSN website sidebar, which is kinda like having a billboard blinking outside your bedroom window all night : a distraction.

    An XM-based FS is going to be a meta-data nightmare, with more churning than one thought possible. The pagefile size will need to be quite large to cache all that crap. But they'll use the extra-speedy Intels to compress is on the fly anyway.

    Most of *any* speech recognition is going to be from research done on [cough] *nix machines of the past decade.

    Revamping the graphics system is just what the DirectX doctor ordered: new APIs! Everything can be antialiased, from busy dancing icons to cursors to controls. yawn.

    By keeping everyone busy adopting the new platform, form ignores function and we get the same stuff in a new box. I hope they keep pushing it out. Then again, we're talking about people who confuse an OS with their desktop images.

    mug
  • Internet Week describes some of the goals: avoiding viruses, worms, and 'building apps that are as smart as Outlook.'

    Insert obvious joke here.
  • With a 2006 time frame, (like Windows '95 '98, NT, Cairo etcetera Mr. Gates?) M$ insures that nobody's going to take this seriously. Do they think people use an M$ memory manager in their brain? It'll take three tries again to get their act together and by that time...)

    Too many people got burned with vapor-ware and later-ware. Two or three years is too long to wait for the other shoe to drop. Only Bill Gates is made out of money. The rest of us have to generate revenue and profits.

    I suspect that lots of c
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:58PM (#7321337)
    "A demonstration of WinFS featured a method to "stack" documents by author in a window, with the heights of the stacks corresponding to the number of documents, as well as file views that showed snapshots of documents, rather than just file names."

    And ten years before this, Apple patented Piles:

    "Apple holds a patent on this one. Developed by Gitta Salomon and her team close to a decade ago, a pile is a loose grouping of documents. Its visual representation is an overlay of all the documents within the pile, one on top of the other, rotated to varying degrees. In other words, a pile on the desktop looked just like a pile on your real desktop.

    To view the documents within the pile, you clicked on the top of the pile and drew the mouse up the screen. As you did so, one document after another would appear as a thumbnail next to the pile. When you found the one you were looking for, you would release the mouse and the current document would open."

    ... In addition to those snapshots posted of Longhorn over the weekend, isn't it a bit odd that Longhorn is essentially using the brushed metal look from OSX 10.3? The only difference being that MS made the grey a bit darker. Kudo's to the MS UI team.
  • by Polly_was_a_cracker (718522) on Monday October 27, 2003 @02:59PM (#7321347) Homepage
    There was a leak earlier this year apparently and here is a review. Review here at http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/longhorn_alpha .asp [winsupersite.com]
  • by Shamashmuddamiq (588220) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:01PM (#7321364)

    The magic 8-ball says: "Outlook not so good"

    Bart: Wow, it does work!

  • RUN!!! (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by UrGeek (577204)
    "building apps that are as smart as Outlook." I don't know if Outlook or IE is the single most horrible security risk in the history of computers but they are both at least tied for first place. RUN!!!!
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:01PM (#7321371) Homepage Journal
    We see oceans of information," said Adam Sohn a product manager for Microsoft's platform strategy and partner group

    Don't worry about it. Many people experience similar hallucinations on psychoactives. Take it easy and try not to get paranoid. A beer or two would help too.

  • Evil Logo (Score:4, Funny)

    by ViolentGreen (704134) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:02PM (#7321384)
    I am not one of those people who go around professing the evilness of Microsoft. I did, however, come across this logo on news.com.com that does look pretty evil. I doubt that it is official or anything

    Evil Logo [com.com]
  • ObFuturama (Score:4, Funny)

    by sharkey (16670) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:07PM (#7321424)
    Did anyone else read that as "Microsoft Officially Shows Lowerhorn"?
  • Win32 dog (Score:5, Informative)

    by GreatDave (620927) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:26PM (#7321599)

    The WinFX announcement confirms something that I had suspected for quite a while, and that is that .NET was meant to be a replacement for the Win32 API. Win32 is the "familiar" application framework for Windows, but as many have noted (and most Win32 developers know), it is a complicated, cumbersome beast. Give me a choice between Win32 and raw Xlib and I'd take Xlib, thank you very much (but Win32 is a full blown C API with windowing functions just one of many facets, so don't read into this comparison too much.)

    Anyway, Win32 is implemented as one of many subsystems on NT and all its successor operating systems. .NET, and now WinFX, are/will be implemented in the same way, as just another set of APIs. But this is significant, because Microsoft hasn't done this just for kicks. I believe they are on the way to offing Win32. Why?

    1) It's 32-bit, and the IA32/x86 market has its days numbered now. Honestly, not many of us need 64-bit computing, but at some point, killer apps will appear. As we all know, Microsoft's preferred method of forcing an OS "upgrade" down people's throats is bundling it with hardware. Aha.

    2) It's not portable. This ties into the first point, but why might Microsoft be interested in portability? I don't just mean hardware, I'm talking about OS portability. Microsoft wants a contingency in case Windows (NT/2000/XP/2003/Longhorn...) finds itself becoming a legacy system (I think it already is, but that's just my opinion.) Maybe it's finally dawned on Microsoft that a VMS-based kernel with heavy process invocation fees isn't going to be able to win benchmarks while Linux keeps getting faster and better. Microsoft is only winning server benchmarks by virtue of building their SMB/CIFS and HTTP daemons into the kernel, you know. Who cares about stability? Benchmarks sell software to IT-ignorant PHBs.

    3) Win32 is messy, and most Windows C(++) programmers avoid using Win32 directly at all costs (that's what MFC and ATL are for). Microsoft likes DRM, and DRM requires kernel/subsystem-level API calls. Likewise DirectX, which Microsoft is truly investing in; they know multimedia is their strong point and that the enterprise server market is something they can never corner. SMEs running VB apps using MS SQL, maybe, but not Fortune 500. So, they want a framework that is as "open" and "powerful" as Microsoft believes it can be, without opening up the source, of course.

    So... whew. There you go.

  • Oxymoronic. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dollar70 (598384) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:28PM (#7321632) Journal
    "avoiding viruses, worms, and 'building apps that are as smart as Outlook."

    I know I'm going to get slammed -5 redundant, but there are just so many things wrong with that statement.

    Unless you are an MS zealot, the Outlook program was among the worst examples of a computer program. It was slow to start. It did a few different tasks, and it did them marginally. It took forever to shut down. It hogged resources so the whole system bogged down. It was dreadful!

    This part is a bit off-topic, but back when I still used Windows, I recall installing Office, and it was an imparative to custom install only Word, Excel, Access, and Power Point. The default office install was a sure fire way to suck the life out of any PC.

    BTW: Did anyone notice that the new Explorer looks suspiciously like a Mozilla skin?

  • by raw-sewage (679226) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:38PM (#7321723)
    Has Microsoft published any kind of official or semi-official list of new features for Longhorn? If so, the open source community should look at that as a software requirements document. Here is the opportunity to show the world that, not only is open source often of higher quality than commercial software (at least Microsoft's), but now it's faster to market. Traditionally, open source is viewed as "playing catch-up" with commercial software (at least in the desktop arena). I think now is the time to release everything Longhorn will have.


    It looks like Microsoft is already playing catch-up with Linux in some respects. The "sidebar"? What about Windowmaker's dock apps? What about gkrellm? What about the various panel apps for Gnome and KDE? I haven't seen any details about the WinFS file system, but I'm betting that whatever Microsoft comes up with could easily be done with some combination of MySQL, OpenOffice.org's document architecture, a pretty GUI and some glue to hold it all together. (It's an obvious point, but in case anyone has forgotten, developers have choices choices choices with open source: the GUI could be motif, Tcl/Tk, GTK, Qt, OpenGL, ...; the "glue" for this could be PHP, Perl, Python, shell scripts, ...)


    In brief, unless Microsoft has a huge ace up their sleeve, whatever they want to do or come up with has already been done or can be done quite quickly with the enormous, comprehensive open source infrastructure that is available today.

    • What about how Windows is bringing out an entirely accelerated GUI (which yes, MacOSX has already done) and yet Linux is still putzing around with the nightmare which is XFree86 and antialiasing of fonts is handled not at the windowing system level, but at the application level? Yeah, that's just fantastic. Linux indeed has many advantages over Windows, but it is not superior in every way.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:45PM (#7321792) Journal
    These are all from the PDC build (#4051) of Longhorn:
    Gallery 1 [winsupersite.com]
    Gallery 2 [winsupersite.com]
    Gallery 3 [winsupersite.com]

  • Bill Gates just made the Adam Osborne mistake. He announced "WinFX", whatever that is, as the improvement to .NET. Now a significant number of people will wait for WinFX, and Microsoft will lose the profits it would have had from those who wait.

    Adam Osborne's [bricklin.com] company made an early personal computer. Adam announced a new model long before it was ready. Sales stopped because everyone wanted to wait for the new model. Adam's company went bankrupt.

    It was amazing watching the bankrupting of the company on TV at the time. Osborne's company went from being one of the fastest growing to having insufficient money for operations in about two months.

    It was a sobering lesson. Computer companies sometimes die extremely fast. Novell, WordPerfect, Corel, Fifth Generation Systems, and Central Point are examples. There are many others.

    Microsoft has not been managed well. The company survives and profits because of having a virtual monopoly on operating systems and on office suite file formats. Think about it, suppose someone had a monopoly on water. That person could soon be much richer than Bill Gates.

    For most businesses, the free Open Office [openoffice.org] is all they need. There are significant benefits to Open Office. It is much less quirky than Microsoft Office, for example. Most people are not very observant about the software they use, and they hardly notice the difference between Microsoft Word and the Open Office word processor.

    Right now, many businesses use software that runs only under Microsoft Windows. However, there are many desktops that only need software that is already available for Linux. Those can benefit from the increased stability of Linux.

    People don't care about the cost of Windows. The cost is only a few dollars of the cost of the computers they buy. The biggest issue against Microsoft is its adversarial behavior toward its customers. Using Linux means never having to say "My operating system company is partly my enemy."

    Microsoft is on the way down. Most people don't realize that yet, however. Microsoft is one of the biggest management failures the world has ever seen. If the company could make a few changes in its behavior, it could stay profitable. However, it seems that abusiveness is more important to Microsoft than money.

    Note that WinFX [4mg.com] is someone else's trademark. WinFX is the most cracked and cheated [google.com] program I have ever seen. There are 50 times as many links to cheats as there are to the product!

    Microsoft has scheduled an MSDN TV program about "WinFX" for November 6 [microsoft.com] (Subject to change by Microsoft, of course.)

    Microsoft claims that WinFX is their trademark [216.239.53.104]. (The link is to a Google conversion of a .DOC file to HTML.)

    Microsoft has a history of picking inappropriate trademarks. "X" means unknown. It was inappropriate to use the letter X in conjunction with "Xbox" and "ActiveX". Aside from being someone else's trademark, WinFX sounds too trivial for use with an extensive programming product. Traditionally, "FX" has been used to signify "effects".

    • > Bill Gates just made the Adam Osborne mistake. He
      > announced "WinFX", whatever that is, as the improvement
      > to .NET. Now a significant number of people will wait for
      > WinFX, and Microsoft will lose the profits it would have
      > had from those who wait.

      But unlike Osbourne MS has LOTs and LOTs of cash and
      other sources of income.

      What longhorn is right now is Freezeware. They are
      going to keep hyping it for the next two years. The goal
      is to keep people who are on the fence about switching
      from d
  • Two things really (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rabtech (223758) on Monday October 27, 2003 @04:17PM (#7322095) Homepage
    1) Managed directX has, at worst, a 10% performance penalty against the exact same C++ code. People are always complaining about how we have an excess of performance in todays' CPUs. This seems like a good use of it to me, thanks to #2:

    2) Managed code does not have buffer overflows. How many bugs in Windows and Linux, especially rootable bugs, are a result of a buffer overflow? 50%? 75% 90%? I don't know, but it is a lot. Dotnet code has zero buffer overflows.

    3) Managed code avoids DLL hell: the GAC and side-by-side execution ensure that programs will continue to run on versions of libraries that they are designed to support, since minor/major version upgraded files will not be fed to these applications (although revisions still can for bug fixing reasons.) Neither the user nor developer need to even THINK about these issues - the runtime simply takes care of them.

    4) Managed code upgrades to 64-bit in a neutral and architecture-independent way. Apps that are "bit neutral" will run on a 32-bit system JIT'd for 32-bit mode, and those same EXACT EXE files will run in 64-bit mode on a 64-bit system, including making use of new registers and other such things. No recompiles - the JIT takes care of it. This also means that much of the code Microsoft writes - mountains of it - to handle all kinds of things from Office to [insert favorite feature here] can be transported across 32/64 bits and architectures. No more Mac version of Office if they want - Abstract any platform-specific calls into one or two classes and have everything else be managed bit-neutral code. Notice that no one is being silly enough to suggest write-once-run-anywhere for useful apps; that is and always was a pipe dream.

    I would not doubt that the dotnet runtime on Longhorn is not going to call the Win32 API much; They might just be doing it internally and only using the Executive (NT/2K/XP's kernel native API) when necessary. That would explain part of the time length. Not only do you have to upgrade your existing code to C#/VB.NET/Managed C++/whatever other dotnet language, but you need to rewrite the new runtime to completely rid it of any dependance on the Win32 API. In this way, you also make the runtime a little bit more platform neutral, vs having to convert it from Win32 to Win64 for other platforms. But this is just a guess.
  • by Skim123 (3322) <mitchell AT 4guysfromrolla DOT com> on Monday October 27, 2003 @04:24PM (#7322154) Homepage
    can be found at http://weblogs.asp.net/ [asp.net]. It's an aggregate of .NET developer blogs, many of whom are at the PDC. Lots of pictures, reviews of speaches/demos/presentations/etc. Worth checking out, I prefer the reviews from in the trenches, like this one [asp.net] or this one [asp.net], rather than the standard Yahoo/Reuters/media crap.
  • The pain! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Paisley Phrog (685921) on Monday October 27, 2003 @04:36PM (#7322302)
    "building apps that are as smart as Outlook.

    Too.....many.....jokes!
  • by Otis_INF (130595) on Monday October 27, 2003 @05:07PM (#7322662) Homepage
  • by Txiasaeia (581598) on Monday October 27, 2003 @05:33PM (#7322962)
    Right now, I'm running Windows XP Pro. I've got a program that disables the bottom taskbar (the start menu still pops up if I hit the windows key), and I'm using the recently shut-down YzDock (this is not my blog) [ryangregg.info] set to transparent. Yes, I know, Mac OS X, but it's cheaper to use this than buy a Mac.

    Anyway. Why are they adding yet another desktop bar? It wastes space, it looks ugly, and it's difficult to remove. If they're going to add yet *another* taskbar to the OS, please allow it to be turned off!

  • NOFX (Score:3, Funny)

    by joel8x (324102) on Monday October 27, 2003 @08:01PM (#7324247) Homepage
    The company "also unveiled 'WinFX,' which it described as a new application programming model for Windows that is the evolution of its .NET programming framework.

    And in other news, the band NOFX [nofx.org] has doubled their sales on the iTunes music store today among Mac enthusiasts.

    Ok, sorry, it was funnier in my head five minutes ago.

CCI Power 6/40: one board, a megabyte of cache, and an attitude...

Working...