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Microsoft Clips Longhorn 657

Posted by michael
from the going-to-the-vet-to-get-tutored dept.
Gr8Apes writes "Microsoft is clipping Longhorn to get the already-delayed follow-up to Windows XP out the door by 2006. MS has decided to remove some of the most ambitious features. Blackcomb is the version to follow Longhorn, and is expected at the end of the decade. The full new file system feature has been moved to Blackcomb. Other notable parts of the story, in MS's efforts to get its DRM into play, a new version, Windows XP Premium will start shipping with new PCs, which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player. This version will have the ability to shop at on-line stores like the one MS plans to launch later this year. It's their move to 'outflank Apple'."
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Microsoft Clips Longhorn

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  • by Novanix (656269) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:49AM (#8815279) Homepage
    The /. Summary says the "Full new file system feature has been moved to Blackcomb" and while true, it is misleading. The article actually says WinFS is still going to be in the next version of Windows (which is what it is talking about), it simply won't work over the network, meaning file shares won't work in the same way. This is a lot different from it being completely removed, as it is one of Longhorn's biggest features. Having this over network would be completely insane for most situations too. With many servers not upgrading to this file sharing would have to support the old version anyway so that corporate environments could function without upgrading everything. In addition, while the WinFS has the possibility of being a great help to individuals, it would be much harder to use over a clouded network environment.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:56AM (#8815365)
      You expect accurate summaries from /. stories on Microsoft? That will happen when Linux has 90% market share.

      You could submit a story that Microsoft causes cancer, and they'd publish it with a bunch of spoof or dead links without batting an eye.
    • Re: Future of Samba (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Azureflare (645778)
      Wonderful. So when WinFS does get on the network, will linux be able to recognize it? What will become of Samba?

      This seems like a not so sneaky move by Microsoft to shut out interoperability between linux and windows platforms. I am VERY glad therefore, that this is still 5 years off at the earliest.

      Maybe we can start calling Blackcomb the Death Star.

      OK I'm being a little extreme here, but if my company upgrades to Windows Blackcomb and I can't interoperate over a PPTP connection, I'll have to dump li

      • by twbecker (315312) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:06AM (#8815494)
        Gimme a break. While I don't doubt that MS thinks that killing FS compatibility with other OS's is perfectly fine, I think the idea that the sole purpose of moving to a relational FS is to kill such compatibility is a little tinfoil hat-ish.
      • Re: Future of Samba (Score:5, Informative)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:09AM (#8815533) Journal
        I would not worry about it. WIN/FS is not an fs at all. It is nothing more then a meta database, system service. Its only a file system in terms of marketing speak. As far as how data is stored on the disk it is just NTFS, nothing new. There is no reason why it could not be implemented on Linux or any other operating system. The only reason it won't work on fat is you need some file system features like extended artibutes so you can flags files to facilitate sorting them with the meata database. Actually if you did someting like UMSDOS does and kept an external data file and then just hid it with the driver then you could implement on a less advanced file system. So in short WINFS is nothing more then additional bloatware that most people won't use and those who do will missuse to the point where it becomes entirely useless and only creates more overhead on the system.
      • Re: Future of Samba (Score:5, Informative)

        by Aphrika (756248) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:17AM (#8815644)
        Short answer: it won't shut out interoperability with Linux because then it would also shut out interoperability with older versions of Windows.

        I have a beta copy of Longhorn running here on a desktop. WinFS is running on the My Documents portion of the drive, and I can still share this as normal over the network without problems from both other Windows boxes and my Redhat box. Incidentally, at one point WinFS was slated to only run under My Documents, so I was actually more surprised to see that a full OS-wide implementation of it was still on the cards. Suffice to say that my experience of its current implementation has been very good - it definitely is an improvement over current filing systems, especially regarding search operations.

        If you want more info on it, there's a Windows Media file here [microsoft.com] which goes into some detail about WinFS, how it works and its pros and cons.
      • Re: Future of Samba (Score:4, Informative)

        by seaswahoo (765528) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:22AM (#8815703)
        So when WinFS does get on the network, will linux be able to recognize it? What will become of Samba?

        Samba will continue. Not everyone will upgrade to Whistler or Blackcomb. Remember, Microsoft is STILL! trying to push users off Windows 95, 98, and NT, and it's already been several years since XP was released. Imagine the uphill battle in several years to get businesses off 2000...

        This seems like a not so sneaky move by Microsoft to shut out interoperability between linux and windows platforms.

        So what? Microsoft Windows Professional (2000/XP) and NT Workstation/Server, as far as I know, have generally included downgrade options. So in 2006, build your next PC with an OEM license for "Whistler" (just get the Pro edition) and use your Windows 2000 media.

        Read the OEM EULA. Note that this does not apply to retail versions unless you do volume licensing with Microsoft.

        Same goes for Server versions, if you're into that kind of thing. I, however, for one, have given up on Windows servers and have moved to Linux/Samba already. Reason: Microsoft may say the TCO for Windows is much lower than Linux, but they neglect all the other software you need to buy for Windows to make it actually do something (antivirus, mail server, more antivirus, defrag programs, database servers, and so forth).

        The biggest mistake that can be made is to use the Home version of Windows. It not only is a crippled version of the Professional version (at least, when you define crippled as having certain features, e.g., logging in to a network), but it doesn't have any downgrade rights AT ALL.

        I don't know anything about the WinFS network formats, and if they will include the ability of backwards compatibility with other OS types on the network.

        If Microsoft all of a sudden turns off backwards compatibility, businesses will cry foul. If Windows isn't backward compatible, then what's the point of keeping it on a corporate network?

        Either businesses will stick to their "legacy" Windows 2000 and XP or begin migrating to other platforms. I can envision the former in many small businesses without dedicated techs and the latter in larger corporations.

        ---

        Offtopic, if there are /.ers reading this who I conversed with in a post a while back, I am now planning to mix Linux/*BSD boxes with my Windows boxes in our desktop environment. We'll see, if I can get Unix to sync easily with Samba and vice versa, my family's home network (used for school, work, and a whole lot more) could shift a bit more towards *nix.
        • Re: Future of Samba (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rjelks (635588)
          "Microsoft is STILL! trying to push users off Windows 95, 98, and NT"

          This is a really good point for those worried about compatibility. As far as I understand it, Longhorn(or whatever the real name will be) will require higher hardware specs than Win 9.x or even XP. A lot of people will keep upgrading their hardware like normal, but I think there are a bunch of useful machines out there that won't get tossed out. I'm not sure a 3D interface and a new file system will compel most businesses to invest i
    • I don't see a compelling reason for the existance of this "upgrade" other than to feed the M$ coffers and lock in a steady revenue stream for them. The main features seem to be:

      • A media player I'd rather remove than use, whose main new feature seems to be ensuring I don't use any other media player when buying music online. What precisely does this application have to do with operating system features?
      • A DRM system for ensuring that I can't access media files without permission. Funny, but as I recall t
      • by bigman2003 (671309) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:44AM (#8815985) Homepage
        Funny, but as I recall the main information on the business systems was data, not music and videos.

        I think that really depends on what business you are in.

        I'll launch Windows Media Player 5-10 times a day for work.

        I might launch Excel, or even the calculator, once every 6 months or so.

        Some people work in industries where music and videos ARE the business, and they ARE the data. And those businesses need DRM in order to make their business viable in the digital age.

        Now if people actually paid for what they use, it would be a different story. But some people are under the impression that since they borrowed a CD from a friend, and copied that CD to their computer, it is now THEIR data. Without any regard to the effort and talent that went into creating the music. So the choice is- make it harder for these people to copy the data, or hope that they have a change of heart, and start to pay up.

        I don't see a long line of people waiting to pay up...
        • by brianosaurus (48471) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:59AM (#8816144) Homepage
          > Now if people actually paid for what they use, it would be a different story

          Yeah, its a shame that last year was such a banner year for the music industry. CDs sell plenty. I have difficulty seeing how the industry is being hurt when they're making more money than ever. If there was actually a drop in sales in the last few years that didn't correlate exactly with the general economic downturn there might be something to those lies.

          The problem is that while trying to eliminate a "piracy" problem that doesn't really exist ("Yarrrrr!"), they're making it more difficult to legally use the music one purchases.
        • Now if people actually paid for what they use, it would be a different story.

          Yeah, because it's totally obvious that somebody should be paid over and over and over for something that they only did the work to create once. People should be paid for providing goods or services, not because they think they "deserve it".

        • Some people work in industries where music and videos ARE the business, and they ARE the data. And those businesses need DRM in order to make their business viable in the digital age.

          Anyone with good sound cards and a second computer can use it to record what they play back on their first, which after a single analog step gives them a digital copy with better quality than most of the (128kbps) MP3s on the net. There is no technological way to prevent this: if it can be heard or seen, it can be recorded digitally, and once one person records it in an unencrypted digital format it's just as easy to spread around as if it had never been in an encumbered format at all.

          If your business model really requires impenetrable DRM to be viable, you probably ought to find a new one before spending too much money on snake oil.
          • I have to elaborate on this...

            One episode of South Park had the town trying to free a serial baby murderer. The judge asked "tell me one positive thing about killing babies." One of the kids answered "well, its easy."

            Well yeah it probably is, physically, pretty easy. Babies are typically much smaller, weaker and more fragile than most adults. But that doesn't mean that everyone is going to go around killing babies. In fact almost no one does. Why not? Because its wrong. True its illegal, but even i
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:50AM (#8815289)
    NOOOOOO! CLIPPY! NOT AGAIN!
  • And that is "Windows Secure".

    A platform that will let you browse, email, and generally enjoy the Internet without risk of viruses, trojans, worms or spam.
    • by Dr Reducto (665121) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:55AM (#8815350) Journal
      A platform that will let you browse, email, and generally enjoy the Internet without risk of viruses, trojans, worms or spam.

      .....If only such a platform existed. I would buy it. Unfortunately, not even Linux, BSD, or even OS X is capable of this. There is always risk. The point is to minimize the risk, but you can never eliminate it.
      • bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SHEENmaster (581283) <travis&utk,edu> on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:05AM (#8815473) Homepage Journal
        Just throw OpenBSD onto a box, with all incoming ports (even ssh) firewalled off, and just a web browser and email client, maybe IM as well. Make it so that those apps are the only ones that may be run by the user, don't give him a home directory, don't give him any drives except a read-only flash device, close off all outgoing ports except those needed for web and email, close off all UDP, don't allow user programs (not even Java applets), don't allow for reception of attachements beyond textual ones, weld the box shut.

        While it's technically possible to break the box open and mess with it, it should be immune to viruses and trojans. Spam is another matter of course, but disallowing the posting of an email address on a form might help.

        If you still want to buy it, I can get you some.
    • by garcia (6573) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:56AM (#8815372) Homepage
      This is not Interesting. This is a troll but I'll bite.

      No platform, especially one deployed at such great lengths, will be 100% secure... There are just too many things that could possibly cause problems.

      Would it be economically viable for MS to develop this? I doubt it.

      Why not just make all versions of Windows "Secure" then?
      • It's hardly a troll.

        Windows' security is the number one issue facing the company, and this is by their own declaration.

        More functionality makes more complexity, which creates more security vulnerabilities.

        Microsoft's users are currently seriously exposed to trojans, worms, and viruses. The advice of "protect your systems" is useless, even malicious, when 95% of PC users are technically naive, and when this is the very reason that Windows has spread to every corner of the PC market.

        Microsoft's core market consists of people who cannot install patches, who don't know the different between spams and real emails, and who have a finite capacity for being hit by malware before they will abandon the Internet or find alternative platforms.
        • by Luscious868 (679143) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:37AM (#8815893)
          Microsoft's core market consists of people who cannot install patches, who don't know the different between spams and real emails, and who have a finite capacity for being hit by malware before they will abandon the Internet or find alternative platforms.

          Exactly. Remember the old adage, "wait for Service Pack 1", when it comes to deploying Microsoft products. Given their horrible track record as of late it has now become "wait for Service Pack 2".

          I recently had to do a fresh installation of Windows XP from a CD. This version of XP included Service Pack 1. I was absolutely stunned at the amount of time I had to spend patching the thing. There were literally 20+ patches, security roll-ups and service packs to applications (Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, etc.) that had to be downloaded from Windows Update. If I wouldn't have had a broadband connection I would have been online forever downloading it all.

          That is just simply unacceptable. I won't be recommending that anyone who is stuck using Microsoft products upgrade to a new release until Service Pack 2 from this point forward. Microsoft needs to just chill out on the operating system releases and get everything patched and tightened down in the current OS. Once they've gotten their bases covered, then use that secure code base as the basis for the next operating system. The problem is that as soon as Microsoft releases an OS they are already working on the next one. Security holes propagate from one OS to the next generation OS which can cause even more unforeseen problems in features being worked on in the next generation OS.

          Microsoft really needs to cease all work on Longhorn, tighten down XP, merge the security fixes back into the Longhorn code base, and then work from there. The problem is their stupid new licensesing scheme. Forcing users to buy into "Software Assurance" in order to get future upgrade at a discounted rate has really forced Microsoft's hand. If thy were to stop and shore up their current code base before releasing their next OS (thus delaying it further), all of the customers who have bought into their new licensing scheme are going to be very unhappy. If they continue their current way of doing things, they are going to continue alienating their customers with security problem after security problem. They are really damned if they do and damned if they don't hear, but it is their own fault They got themselves into this mess with sloppy software engineering practices and a stupid licensing scheme that forces their them into delivering upgrades within a certain timetable.

          Linux is looking better and better by the minute.

          • Windows XP development must have been like going to the grocery store hungry with dad's credit card. There must have been such joy that they were eliminating a crappy codebase (Win 95/98/ME) that all kinds of junk got thrown in. It's all the junk that has made XP even more of security disgrace than the 95 codebase. Granted it also inherited problems from Win 2K, but if they hadn't opened up extra ports or gone for "even more" os/app integration, then they wouldn't have looked so bad. Add in bad ideas from t
      • by rokzy (687636) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:40AM (#8815939)
        I hate hearing this kind of reply.

        WE ALL KNOW THAT NOTHING IS 100% SECURE.

        it's not that linux etc. are 100% secure, it's that they are orders of magnitude more secure than a product that costs orders of magnitude more money.

        do you guys have day jobs as lobbyists for anti-safety legislature or something? "well congressman, no car will be 100% safe so what's the point of wanting us to provide seatbelts/air bags/crumple zones/non-exploding gas tanks?
      • Ummm...I think you are wrong...

        No platform, especially one deployed at such great lengths, will be 100% secure... There are just too many things that could possibly cause problems.
        Well lets say I develop an OS that is REALLY buggy, but I am the only person to use it, nobody will exploit it because they dont even know it exists! Now I then sell this OS to EVERYONE in the world, and everyone has an OS that nobody can exploit!

        Muhhahaha!! I am rich AND secure! Life is good!

        Now I do think im missing so
    • I think you're referring to Microsoft Linux (and its mascot will indeed be Clippy, colleagues at the recent PDC tell me).

      Microsoft Linux is due out 2007, right after the breakup (of MS that is).
  • by andyrut (300890) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:51AM (#8815301) Homepage Journal
    Also in the long line of adjective-noun combinations for their operating systems, Microsoft will follow up on Longhorn and Blackcomb with Sweatyphone, Steelfridge, and Purpletoilet.
  • by maxbang (598632) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:52AM (#8815303) Journal

    why did I sign up for that stupid upgrade plan? WHY???

    • by m.h.2 (617891) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:02AM (#8815441) Journal
      I'm wondering how many execs are actually paying attention to the fact that these plans are essentially useless. I have spoken with at least a dozen, who blindly renewed their contracts without ever checking to see if there was a return on their investment. Funny (not in a ha-ha way) how as an IT Manager, one gets the 3rd degree when asking for the funds to upgrade a data backup system because the CTO fails to see the business case, yet they blow their budgets on "software assurance" programs that provide no value whatsoever.

      Why didn't I become a plumber?
  • Blackcomb (Score:3, Funny)

    by sinclair44 (728189) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:52AM (#8815308) Homepage
    "Blackcomb is the version to follow Longhorn, and is expected at the end of the decade."
    I guess we can expect it in 2013 at the earliest.
  • Patch installation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder if the patches will install without rebooting...
  • Not here (Score:5, Funny)

    by MooCows (718367) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:52AM (#8815317)
    "Windows XP Premium will start shipping with new PCs, which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player."

    Not in Europe, we're going to get the "Windows XP Premium Lite" edition, hah!
    • Re:Not here (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oolon (43347)
      By the time microsoft has appealled to the courts in europe it will be time for blackcomb!

      James
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:53AM (#8815325)
    Windows XP Premium will start shipping with new PCs

    Buy an operating system, and a PC comes with it? Hasn't it traditionally been the other way around?
  • Office politics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:54AM (#8815333) Journal
    The new thinking now says that the new Office will run on all versions of Windows, whereas it was previously going to be available only on the new XP system... This is a massive statement. It means that the 'new licencing' is so unpopular that it's forcing MS to drop its upgrade/lock-in strategy for Office. Amazing.

    I think the growing popularity of Linux in the server market, and over the next 2 years or so in the desktop market too, is a big part of that decision...

    Simon.
  • Smart Move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rixstep (611236) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:54AM (#8815335) Homepage
    Actually, this might be a smart move by MS - not that they would realise why, but nonetheless.

    There are so many 'features' of their Longwait that literally scare the you know what out of people. Features that have been around spooking before.

    Now MS are hard put and have to remove (or delay) these features - and ironically, and sadly, this might actually help their acceptance.
  • by Noizemonger (665926) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:54AM (#8815340)
    [...]which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player. This version will have the ability to shop at on-line stores like the one MS plans to launch later this year. The EU-Administration will not be very happy with this. Actually this just shows that MS doesnt give shit about the antitrust-suits. It seems like the fine from the EU wasnt nearly severe enough.
  • Outflank == Copy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsborg (111459) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:54AM (#8815342) Homepage
    "It's their move to 'outflank Apple'."

    Guess they gotta keep innovating the old fashioned Microsoft way.

    • Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) on Friday April 09, 2004 @01:12PM (#8816964)
      Says the Linux guy running KDE with a taskbar, Start menu, sidepanel, similar print dialog, integrated net browser/file browser, etc.

      Innovating the old-fashioned Linux way--ripping things off then criticizing the company that came up with the ideas. :P
  • by thorgil (455385) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:56AM (#8815375) Homepage
    M$ clips Longhorn.
    -So then it's Shorthorn! /T
  • infamous (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:57AM (#8815376)

    [...]Windows XP Premium will start shipping with new PCs, which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player.

    It's more than famous, it's infamous. (With apologies to The Three Amigos! [imdb.com]).

  • by dogas (312359) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:57AM (#8815379) Homepage
    I think it's good that they're scoping out features. This will allow the developers to concentrate on making the existing codebase actually work, rather than squandering resources to cram in a feature that works like ass and is rife with security holes.

  • What remains? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RoLi (141856) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:59AM (#8815403)
    From what I've heard from Longhorn, "WinFS" was the only thing that sounded interesting for me. The rest (like a sidebar or applets - or graphics effects like transparency through "Avalon") seems more like catching up to the various Linux DEs and MacOSX. The only other thing is DRM, which might be a major modification, but which I don't really want anyway.

    So, can anybody point out which features would be really worth an upgrade, because I can't see any. I don't care about Eyecandy, also there should be something else than eyecandy...

    • Re:What remains? (Score:3, Informative)

      by m00nun1t (588082)
      RTFA. They haven't dropped WinFS, just reduced the scope of it.

      BTW, if you think Avalon is just about "graphics effects like transparency" you obviously don't get it. I think Avalon is the single most exciting thing about Longhorn - the ability to break the link between screen resolution and size of items on screen is great.
    • Re:What remains? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Friday April 09, 2004 @12:45PM (#8816654) Journal
      Their new shell "msh"? (code name Monad)

      It's miles ahead compared to their old command prompt emulator in Windows XP already in the beta I have, and seems to finally catch up with well-known unix shells and in some cases race beyond some of them (IMHO of course!). It also by default uses command aliases like "ls", "rm", "ps", "pwd", etc. :-)

      It can finally transparently access other file systems by "mounting" (not sure if the term is that, but the end result is the same) them through "providers" so you can for example navigate through your registry without having to rewrite the "cd" command, list the contents of a DNS server with the "ls" command, and so on, and lots lots more. So, in other words, they've got rid of the hard coded "C:\" and similar one-letter drives, and C: will just be a pointer to the FileStore (FS) provider. Finally I can do it the Amiga way and create drives like FONTS:, haha...

      I must say I was fascinated by some parts, even if I've used a bunch of *nix shells in the past. Especially because it's completely object oriented. Here's an example script:

      $p = get/process
      foreach ($p)
      {
      $p.FileName.ToString()
      }

      Of course, "ps" is just an alias for the "get/process" command and when you just type "ps" in the console, it just uses its method for console output to generate the text you see. I find this one of the most exciting features of Longhorn myself, and was pleasantly surprised by it, since I had thought MS would go all eye candy and hide their command prompt even further in the "don't go here"-corners of the OS. :-)
    • by bonch (38532) on Friday April 09, 2004 @01:20PM (#8817061)
      * Replacement of Win32 with .NET, even explorer.exe is running as managed code in the leaked betas. I can't even begin to list the advantages of this. .NET is great, and with Mono making great strides in the language specification, any language will be able to compile intermediate .NET code, and code from different languages will operate together without a care.

      * Avalon--presentation system that is completely hardware-accelerated and vector-based. One video showed two Notepads rotating around while still completely usable at the same time a video played in Media Player. Old apps will be compatible.

      * XAML and other technologies--I've said it before, but it was just such a cool example. During an MSDN video (freely available at the site), the dev used Win32 Emacs to write a 10-15 XAML app that let him update his blog, complete with resized vector graphics and a video of moving clouds looping on the background of the window, all using the command-line .NET compiler.

      * WinFS will still exist. They're just cutting a few features that will probably be re-introduced in a service pack anyway. WinFS is incredibly exciting--one WinFS dev went to the command line and did a query for certain employees within the last week, and it came up in less than a second. No more brute-force searching. Also, no file drives. And yet, they're retaining folder and drive structures in case you want to operate that way.

      * Aero--this is their top-secret interface yet to be unvieled. See, Longhorn has multiple tiers of visual operation. If you can't handle the effects, it scales back to a lesser tier, going all the way down to an unaccelerated 2D inteface like that of Windows 2000. Aero is the top tier and is supposed to be, according to them, "photorealistic" and will be a new interface for Windows taking advantage of 3D acceleration. They said they don't want to reveal any of it until release because they fear it will be ripped off by competitors (a fair judgment considering all the ripped-off Start menus and taskbars on standard Linux desktops...).

      * Christ, man, there's more, but I'll get accused of being a Microsoftie even more than the trolls already do, so I'll stop.
  • by JavaSavant (579820) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:59AM (#8815404) Homepage
    Software capable of shopping at online stores, eh? Is this kind of like your phone company giving you a speed dial to the retailers they have some vested interest in? It's product tying, and it's illegal. It's just a pity that the current administration in the U.S. really doesn't care what M$ does anymore. Here's to some anti-trust mongers taking over next February.
  • by IceAgeComing (636874) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:59AM (#8815411)
    1. Does Windows XP currently allow every application full write access to the Registry, or at least access to registry components for other applications?

    2. If so, does this strike anyone else as a really bad idea from the view of modularity, scalability, and security?

    2. Will Longhorn keep the Windows Registry?

    • by jmulvey (233344) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:23AM (#8815713)
      1. Does Windows XP currently allow every application full write access to the Registry, or at least access to registry components for other applications?

      No, the Registry has an access-control/authorization subsystem very similar to the file system.

      2. If so, does this strike anyone else as a really bad idea from the view of modularity, scalability, and security?

      It would be a bad idea, if it was the case (which it is not).

      3. Will Longhorn keep the Windows Registry?

      Absolutely. There are way too many third-party applications that leverage the registry to eliminate it. If MS were to eliminate the registry, they would have the same outcry that took place when they locked down the file system. See, prior to Windows 2000, users and applications could write anywhere in the file system. Lots of (badly-written) application would sprinkle their configuration files all over the place. This was clearly a problem with ISVs, so MS took action and enforced that (by default) users could only write into their user profile directory. Well, everyone complained that MS "broke" all their apps... but the real culprit was all these poorly-written apps that were dumping user configuration information into files like C:\WINDOWS\config.ini

  • by amplt1337 (707922) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:02AM (#8815435) Journal
    Windows XP Premium will start shipping with new PCs, which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player. This version will have the ability to shop at on-line stores like the one MS plans to launch later this year. It's their move to 'outflank Apple'.
    As if we needed more proof that the antitrust suits have had no effect whatsoever on MS's business practices.
    Have the previous cases not established precedent that pre-installing non-essential features into the operating system constitutes anti-competitive behavior?

    Rather than putting our hope in the courts, I think it's best if everybody contributes as much as possible to the development of desktop linux. We have a two-year window. If linux can achieve mainstream acceptance by the time this goes gold, then we'll be able to avoid widespread adoption of Longhorn, Blackcomb, and everything after.

    so anybody got a good project that needs testers? Or documentation-authors?
  • by eltoyoboyo (750015) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:04AM (#8815457) Journal

    Paul Thurrott's supersite for Windows has this information about what Longhorn is all about [winsupersite.com] from May 2003. I highly recommend that readers check out what MSDN [microsoft.com] has to say about it.

    It is a document and content management system with synchronization capabilities built right into the desktop. And it is going to hit yet another software segment right in the pocketbook: document management and storage.

    With the advances in disk drive capacity and network speed, imagine being able to sync your company's entire set of PDF files/engineering drawings/(pr0n? ;-) ) to a laptop for use on site.

    • With the advances in disk drive capacity and network speed, imagine being able to sync your company's entire set of PDF files/engineering drawings/(pr0n? ;-) ) to a laptop for use on site.

      Ummm...you can do this now. It's called Briefcase. I use it all the time.

      Personally, WinFS scares the crap out of me. It looks far to complicated than it needs to be for casual users. The schema itself looks like a nightmare. Having the ability to transport properties from documents into the fs is cool, but most peop

  • WTF?!?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt.johnson@gma ... minus herbivore> on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:04AM (#8815463) Homepage
    This version will have the ability to shop at on-line stores like the one MS plans to launch later this year. It's their move to 'outflank Apple'.

    This is seriously screwed up. If this isn't a blatant anti-trust violation, I don't know what is. Didn't the EU just assess a 1/2 billion dollar fine over this very behavior?

    I can't understand how this doesn't enrage anyone who believes in capitalism. What's to stop Microsoft from integrating an Amazon.com, paypal and Ebay feature into their software and MSN stuff as well? How many markets will they be able to dominate through their desktop OS monopoly?

    Can any investor look at the tech world and invest in something that isn't in danger of being killed off by a Microsoft action? It seems that entering into any online service or consumer software is a matter of picking up dimes before steamrollers.

    Without proper anti-trust enforcement, innovation and investment opportunities will dwindle. Maybe some of our politicians should get their heads out of the sand. The market doesn't solve all problems, that's why we have anti-trust laws in place.

    Seriously though, isn't anyone else just amazed by Microsoft's gall?
    • Re:WTF?!?! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ThisIsFred (705426)
      This is seriously screwed up. If this isn't a blatant anti-trust violation, I don't know what is. Didn't the EU just assess a 1/2 billion dollar fine over this very behavior?

      It is, and as you've noted, it's a glaringly obvious one at that. Aside from this, we see an article above where the text mentions "increased competition" to OpenGL from D3D. Another abuse of monopoly power. The OGL implementations I've seen so far way out-perform D3D. The problem is that D3D ships with 90+ per cent of the new desktop
  • Blackcomb? (Score:3, Funny)

    by copponex (13876) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:07AM (#8815504) Homepage
    Ballmer: "Yes, YES! The same black comb which helps cover my baldspot! We'll simply comb over our security issues with obscurity!"

    Gates: "Brilliant!"

    New Guy: "But sirs, we can see Mr. Ballmer's baldspot. It blinded half the staff at the softball game."

    Ballmer: "The folks from New Dehli love my full head of hair."

    New Guy: "Brilliant!"
  • by Stugots (601806) <johnderosa.me@com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:11AM (#8815568) Homepage
    I tried to get a startup off the ground last year, and failed partly because our product had features that were going to be in Longhornn. "Longhorn will be out in 2005, how will you compete"? Sigh...
  • I've heard all these "ooh, media player tied to online stores=product tying=illegal." or "ooh, this shows MS doesnt care about antitrust lawsuits."

    Doesnt itunes come with every computer purchased with MacOSX? And doesnt itunes, by default, have ITMS (iTunes music store) capability?

    So how is MS now including WMP any different than apple always including Itunes+ITMS? It seems like its just the /. bias at work again.
    • by jjohnson (62583) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:20AM (#8815677) Homepage
      Apple wasn't convicted of abusing its monopoly power, and specifically of monopoly leveraging by product tying.
    • You seem to forget that Microsoft has a monopoly and Apple doesn't.
    • How many times does it have to be said!

      Apple does not have a monopoly status!
      Microsoft has a monopoly status!

      When you have a monopoly the rules change! You cannot use your monopoly status to "sell"/push your other products!
    • Apple OWNS i-tunes ( AFAIK ) to expand a company's market share .. You are allowed to push your own products...

      The thing Microsoft is talking is locking in with OTHER vendors, to expand a monopoly...

      That's a different sort of issue. One is illegal, the other isn't.

      Remember too, that the rules of business change when you are CONVICTED of being a monopoly.. or at least they are supposed to.. seems nothing is being enforced..
    • by payndz (589033) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:39AM (#8815924)
      So how is MS now including WMP any different than apple always including Itunes+ITMS? It seems like its just the /. bias at work again.

      Mm, no, MS was found guilty by the US courts of illegally abusing its monopoly position to destroy its competition. It's also just been found guilty by the EU of exactly the same anti-competitive practices, and had its offices raided in Japan as part of an investigation into, yup, you guessed it, monopolistic practices.

      Apple can bundle whatever software it likes with a Mac - at 3% market share, it's not going to have a monopoly on the desktop any time soon. Hell, you can even delete iTunes if you want, and it's gone forever. But if MS puts its own music portal in as part of WMP and it can't be removed, just like they claim IE is a vital part of the system (*coughhorseshitcough* - why make a frickin' internet browser a key part of your OS unless it was a sneaky way to lock in users and destroy the competition?), then they're abusing their monopoly position yet again, breaking the law and the terms of the DoJ settlement - and apparently not caring in the least, since the current administration couldn't give a rat's ass about monopolies as long as they get their cut.

      Be nice if Nader won, if only to see the look on Bill's face!

    • The difference is that MS is a monopoly and has been convicted of being a monopoly in the couts system. But the bigger difference is that ms sell an OS and Office suite. Apple sells an entire package. It's not Illegal for GM to make you buy a GM engine with your GM car. It would be, however, if we bought cars in pieces to assemble, there was only one engine company, and they made you but their body even theough there are other body companies.
    • by The Lynxpro (657990) <`lynxpro' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday April 09, 2004 @02:19PM (#8817798)
      "I've heard all these "ooh, media player tied to online stores=product tying=illegal." or "ooh, this shows MS doesnt care about antitrust lawsuits." Doesnt itunes come with every computer purchased with MacOSX? And doesnt itunes, by default, have ITMS (iTunes music store) capability? So how is MS now including WMP any different than apple always including Itunes+ITMS? It seems like its just the /. bias at work again."

      How exactly is Apple monopolistic?

      Does Apple own the Power PC processor architecture? They used to be a financial contributor, but from what I've seen, its basically an IBM and Motorola (Motorola being the short bus rider of the two) show. And it looks like IBM will be pushing mobos using PowerPC 970 (the G5) chips for Linux enthusiasts so Apple doesn't even have exclusivity on one of its compelling selling points.

      Does Apple restrict retailers from bundling Yellow Dog Linux distributions with its hardware? (like Microsoft did against Digital Research's CP/M, DR-DOS, and GEM? IBM's OS/2? BeOS? Linux?). And speaking of Linux, behind the scenes, Apple isn't trying to cripple Linux distributions from running on its hardware via BIOS chipsets like Microsoft is with the "Trusted Computing" scheme either. You might also check the various operating systems XServe is certified with as well...

      Does Apple build a web-browser to crush competitors that flaunts standards like Microsoft's Internet Explorer? Nope...Safari is based upon an open-source web browser (Konqueror/KHTML) for Linux, and Apple is an active code contributor.

      Does Apple try to crush open source operating systems like Microsoft does with Linux? Nope. Apple's OS X is built atop Free BSD, a Unix deriviative.

      Does Apple push its own instant messaging program in an effort to crush other market leaders like Microsoft does? Nope, iChat is a repackaged (industry market share leader) AOL Instant Messenger with extra nifty features.

      Does Apple push a self-serving music format to perpetuate its operating system monopoly like Microsoft? Nope. Apple's iTunes uses the AAC format, which was developed by Dolby, not Microsoft. And the iTunes Music Store is available on both the Windows and Mac platforms. Sure, we can argue it should be issued for the Linux platform as well and that the iPod should also throw in support for OGG, but those accessory issues to this argument.

      Does Apple push a proprietary graphics API onto the industry like Microsoft does with D3D/DirectX? Nope, Apple supports OpenGL.

      Has Apple tried to squash Adobe's PDF file format like Microsoft is trying to do via Microsoft patented XML schemes via Office 2003? Nope, Apple has thrown its support behind PDF.

      Since starting and later retreating from the PDA market, has Apple tried to cripple Palm in any manner like Microsoft has? Nope, Apple has gone out of its way to support Palm OS products with native support.

      Does Apple try to push its own mobile phone platform onto the industry like Microsoft? Nope. Apple in fact is the computer company that has done the most to support Bluetooth directly in its operating system. If you don't believe me, try to sync a Bluetooth equipped phone (say, a Sony Ericsson phone like the T616) on a Windows machine and then on a Mac.

      Is Apple trying to muscle its way into the growing internet search business like Microsoft's designs against Google? Nope. The Safari web brower, like Mozilla FireFox, has a built-in Google Search window. I concede that there are rumors that Apple is in negotiations behind-closed-doors with Yahoo about throwing its support behind Yahoo's Search. But supporting either of these giants is different than Microsoft trying to keep its operating system monopoly from disappearing.

      And despite favoring its own technology such as Firewire, it was Apple who legitimized Intel's USB platform (itself a deriviative of Atari's SIO port on the 400/800 8-bit computer line from 1979 and created by the same engineer
  • nice, really nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nsebban (513339) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:19AM (#8815662) Homepage
    "...which will include a new version of the infamous Windows Media Player."

    Shouldn't biased opinions and criticism only be present in readers comments ?
  • by Bilange (237074) <bilange@@@hotmail...com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:22AM (#8815699) Journal
    Is it only me, or that sounded like "adding Clippy in Lorghorn"?

    Maybe I used Office too much :)
  • by Nygard (3896) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:39AM (#8815927) Homepage
    Seriously. Back in the days of NT 3, they were talking about the searchable database/filesystem as planned for "Cairo". Cairo eventually became NT 4, which certainly didn't add anything as spiffy as a database-filesystem.

    Since then, they've talked about this feature for every single release of the NT family.

    It's a mirage, receding into the distance faster than you approach it.
    • NTFS is essentially a database filesystem. Lacking many of the features they promised? Yes, but database fs none the less.
  • by blair1q (305137) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:52AM (#8816081) Journal
    What does it take to get software written?

    Software engineers.

    What does it take to get software engineers?

    Cash money.

    What does Microsoft have more of in its bank account than any other company on Earth?

    Cash money.

    What does America have millions of now that India has learned to code?

    Unemployed software engineers.

    What did Microsoft get when Bush became President?

    A big "job-creation" tax cut.

    What are Microsoft not doing even though they have a desperate need and a mandate from the nation?

    Creating jobs.

    Is anyone else wondering just what that tax cut was really for? Is anyone else wondering just what Microsoft is really for? Is anyone ever going to vote for these guys or give Microsoft any monopolistic slack again?
  • by MammaMia (764083) on Friday April 09, 2004 @12:11PM (#8816274)
    From the article:

    "Later this year, it (MSFT) plans to begin a new marketing campaign, dubbed internally as Windows XP Reloaded."

    Sounds appropriate... incredible special effects, which turn out to be mere bells & whistles to make up for the lack of substance. Brilliant!

  • by shaitand (626655) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @12:11PM (#8816282) Journal
    "The changes also affect Microsoft's plan to make the next version of its Office software work only on Longhorn. The new plans call for that Office package to work on previous versions of Windows as well.

    Windows leaders are meeting through the middle of April to make the hard decisions about which specific features to cut from the operating system."

    Only Microsoft would call that a feature.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday April 09, 2004 @12:58PM (#8816815) Homepage Journal
    I do not see a good reason to upgrade my XP box to longhorn. To me it looks about as important upgrase as from 98 to ME would have been. I never ran ME we went to 2000 in my office.
  • by melted (227442) on Friday April 09, 2004 @01:50PM (#8817424) Homepage
    for every product in EVERY software company. First PMs get together and throw a bunch of requirements at developers. Developers do some preliminary investigations and proof-of-concept work and estimate how long it will take them to write the damn things. Management multiplies this by 2 and that's how long it will take to test them. Then all of this is put into one big-ass schedule which usually in its first cut takes three times longer than it should. Then PMs and developers look at the schedule and remove non-critical pieces from it until the product becomes shippable in a reasonable timeframe. After all said and done this schedule will blow up 2 or 3 times in process and some more non-critical features will be cut, too. Heck, even some critical features may suffer.

    The most important feature of every product is its shipping. You can have a perfect OS with all the features everyone wants, but if you haven't shipped it nobody gives a crap (and money either). You can cut back in two ways - on quality (which simply doesn't work for big projects because problems start stepping on each other's toes) and on features (which is what I believe is happening).

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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