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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows

New Longhorn Screenshots And Schedule 688

Posted by Zonk
from the oo-pretty dept.
Mozillabird writes "WinSupersite has recently updated the Longhorn release schedule and has provided some new screenshots of Aero. The first beta of Longhorn is May 2005, though there is some speculation about how much of Avalon and Aero will be implemented in that beta. The "big beta" is scheduled for this Fall."
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New Longhorn Screenshots And Schedule

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  • by Upaut (670171) * on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:19PM (#12055216) Homepage Journal
    Looks like the biggest selling point in the screenshots for longhorn is its new fast "searching" [winsupersite.com] "feature" [winsupersite.com] that looks remarkably like apple's new "Spotlight" [apple.com]...

    (Sarcasm)But hey, if you cant beat them... cheat them.(/sarcasm)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:25PM (#12055265)
      Paul Thurrott made it clear a few months ago that Spotlight and many other of Apple's features in Panther and Tiger are Longhorn features copied by Apple and put into their OS after Microsoft.

      Yes. I think he said it with a straight face.
    • by Vicsun (812730) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:29PM (#12055299)
      There are already quite a few fast-searching tools available, such as <a href="http://www.think-less-do-more.com/avafind/"> Avafind</a>, <a href="http://www.copernic.com/">Copernic</a>, and <a href="http://desktop.google.com/">google desktop search</a>. I've found the functionality they offer to be extremely useful, but how can they be a selling point to an OS when they're already out on the market?
      • by Vicsun (812730) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:32PM (#12055323)
        Oh, excellent, I posted plain text.

        Raw and uncut.
        Consider this to be hardcore old-skewl style: before they had them fancy html interpreters they just looked at the text and IMAGINED its formatting.
      • by mbaciarello (800433) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:37PM (#12055800)

        Whoops... Anyway, I think they can be a definite selling point in that OS-level search capabilities integrate better into the user experience.

        For one, OS integration gives you the ability to create "smart" (dynamic) folders which are basically the results of a query against metadata in all files but still have a system-level validity.

        In other words, you can create your "Yosemite" folder [apple.com] which will contain anything related to that keyword, and you can do that with other programs, such as DevonTHINK [devon-technologies.com]. What you can't have with third-party apps (AFAIK) is automatic scanning of files across the entire system without prior settings, and most of all, the ability to treat "catalogs" as real directories which you can burn to CD, backup, compress & archive, etc...

        More to the point, do these third-party apps offer APIs to other applications, so that you can use their functionality, say, when saving a file or including a picture from your library? That's what OS-level search capabilities are about, at least the way I understand them.

    • But, but, but, it's Microsoft! They innovate! They bring innovative new features to their amazingly secure and awesome Windows operating system! Don't trash the company that "brought American into the PC age"!
      [/sarcasm]
      • /ducks (Score:3, Funny)

        by boarder8925 (714555)
        Apparently, Microsoft also changed it from "America" to "American." Now the citizens of American are called Americanians. =P
      • by Com2Kid (142006)
        Most of Microsoft's "Innovations" flop big time.

        Let me tell ya one that DID catch on though;

        Browser Integration into the primary GUI.

        Nice. Really nice. Without it using a GUI is insane. Broadband net access tends to do that to a person, if I want to look something up, open new window, go to dictionary, type in word.

        All of a sudden, the net IS part of my desktop. Kick'in. You want to know what killed Desktop Push technology? No longer needed, the internet is now just one more data resource on my co
        • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @05:54PM (#12056260) Homepage
          "Most aspects of the Windows GUI are blatently obvious"

          You've blatantly obviously forgotten how you learned Windows and also have blatantly obviously never seen a co-worker struggling to do so.

          I had to learn Windows three years ago (at the same time I learned Linux) and I can testify that there is almost NOTHING obvious about it (other than being aware that clicking a mouse on something makes something happen. Duh!)

        • by Lagged2Death (31596) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:29PM (#12056441)
          Browser Integration into the primary GUI. Nice. Really nice. Without it using a GUI is insane. Broadband net access tends to do that to a person, if I want to look something up, open new window, go to dictionary, type in word.

          I'm not seeing it. You're opening a new window to look at something new - in what way is that "integrated?" Or perhaps more to the point, in what way is that usefully integrated? Is is somehow better to have that new window initially display files and folders than to just show your home-page? How is this any better - or any different - than just launching an IE window?

          I also use broadband and (for example) dictionary.com or wikipedia.org as a handy always-ready reference. But I do not find the desktop "integration" of IE to be any more convenient than just using whatever browser is available on the machine.

          For myself, personally, one of the beefs I have with the Windows GUI is that Windows Explorer tries to do too many things - what do the control panels or network printers have in common with my files, anyway? All of that integrating slows Windows Explorer down without providing anything that looks (to me, at least) like a clear benefit.

    • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:39PM (#12055379)
      No surprise coming from Thurrott.

      Check out this excerpt from a recent review of the MSN Toolbar Suite [winsupersite.com]:

      At the Professional Developers Conference 2003 in Los Angeles last year (see my exhaustive coverage of that show), Microsoft chairman Bill Gates touted the searching innovations that would go into Longhorn, the next generation Windows version that's now due in mid-2006. In a way, by detailing the new desktop search features Microsoft was working on so early, Gates had thrown down the gauntlet. In today's PC world, desktop search is a miserable, slow affair, and as Microsoft executives are fond of pointing out, it shouldn't take longer to find a file you know is on your hard drive than it takes to perform a Web search.

      However, Gates was also giving his competitors a leg up on Microsoft. And since announcing its Longhorn desktop search intentions, Microsoft's worst fears were realized. Other companies began copying the Microsoft desktop search strategy, knowing that the never-ending Longhorn delays would help them get to market sooner and appear to be nimbler and even more innovative, though it's sort of astonishing how transparent that latter claim is. Chief among these competitors are Apple and Google.

      Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in June 2004 that the next version of Mac OS X, due sometime in 2005, will include a desktop search feature called Spotlight. The Spotlight feature set is a rough subset of the desktop search features Gates discussed in late 2003, but presented to the user with Apple's standard graphical excellence. Spotlight, according to Apple, is a "radically new and lightning fast way to find anything saved on your personal computer. Email messages, contacts and calendars, along with files and folders, all show up in Spotlight results." Spotlight's biggest claims to fame, presumably, are its near-instant search results and support for document meta data, both of which are, again, planned features of Longhorn. But no matter. While Apple has been busy copping Windows features since Jobs returned to Apple in late 1996 [!!!!!], the company's tiny market share ensures that very few people will benefit from Spotlight, despite Apple claims that it will deliver on desktop search a year before Microsoft ships Longhorn.


      The gall astounds me. But hey, he actually believes it.
      • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#12055607)
        Daveschroeder's quoting of WinSupersite:
        "Gates was also giving his competitors a leg up on Microsoft..."
        Triggered a bizarre and humorous mental image after walking my dog outside this gorgeously sunny afternoon.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:12PM (#12055626)
        Spotlight is an entire API, completely accessible by developers and built-in in unique ways to many of the Apple Apps, such as Mail and AddressBook. This sort of thing takes more than just a year to develop, especially if the claim is true that they just decided to "copy" the idea as soon as the genius of Bill Gates announced it. Plus, you can't go around annoncing things that most the time become vaporware and then go around claiming credit for them. Just because I announce AI today, doesn't mean that if someone in 10 years estalblishes intelligent machines I and I have yet to deliver that they are somehow copying me.
      • by line.at.infinity (707997) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @05:55PM (#12056268) Homepage Journal
        Macs have already had fast desktop search since OS X first debuted, in a way. My guess is that the HFS+ format used for the boot drive helps speed up searching even on a slow hd drive. In my experience, searching for a file has been incredibly faster on OS X than on Win 2k. Safari, iTunes, and Finder already include the search bar UI in the upper right.

        I don't think who came up with what idea first is really important here, since with increasing computational power, searching could only get faster and more practical - it was an inevitability that searching would become a more important part of the desktop user experience. However right now OS X is winning the race over Windows, IMHO. WinAmp has included find-as-you-type since early versions. Now iTunes, Mozilla, Finder, and Firefox have it.
    • by Dominatus (796241) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:15PM (#12055652)
      Well I said it before and I got modded down as Troll, but I knew this would happen.

      Regardless of the past, Microsoft announced and demo'd this feature BEFORE Apple even mentioned spotlight. I'm not saying Apple copied MS, I'm saying MS *DIDN'T* copy Apple, not this time anyway...
  • "Then, Microsoft will utilize a disclosure approach it calls "rolling thunder,""

    Right, because with a name like "rolling thunder" [wikipedia.org], it has to be good!
  • by rob_squared (821479) <.moc.derauqs-bor. .ta. .bor.> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:21PM (#12055239)
    For when the release date gets pushed back and Bill G. has to avoid the head-hunters.
  • by selderrr (523988) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:23PM (#12055250) Journal
    at the bottom is a bigger-than-ever status bar with info about the selected item. It seems like very little info is in tat area that is not already displayed in the list itself.

    This makes me think about the utterly stupid winXP feature that displays the number of files in a selected zipfile... is that usefull for anybody ? Why do you zip files in 99% of the cases ? TO REDUCE SIZE. so what do you want to know about the selected zip ? Right : it's size. For all other items, the filesize is shown, except for zips.... DUH !!!!

    The person who suggested that feature should be shot with a ripe banana until dead ensures... twice !
    • And while I'm bashing WinXP, what is it with the 'documents' fixation at MS ??? There shuold NOT be a 'my documents' ! There should be a 'my applications' and a 'my system+prefs'. ALL THE REST IS YOUR DATA !!! Yet another thing where OSX got it right and where this screenshot seems to prove that Longhorn is just going further down the idiotic part of system-enforced instead of user-enforced data management.

      It almost makes you wish they lose their monopoly....

      uh... did I say that ?
    • Well look at the end of the after type, date etc. it is there.

      It is also in the details view on the left tab. Or you could look at size in the tile view.
    • by bonch (38532) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:34PM (#12055342)
      Weird, I submitted this story last week and it was rejected.

      Anyway, anyone notice a few things?

      1.) The dialog that appears asking for an admin password to install software. Directly ripped from OS X.

      2.) The titlebars and status bars have gotten bigger for seemingly no good reason. However, the minimize/maximize buttons have been horizontally stretched. This should help alleviate the infamouse "accidentally-close" clicking everybody does now and again. They're still touching each other, though. Weirdly, OS X's are also sitting beside each other but I never accidentally hit the close box. There is space between them.

      3.) More shiny blue. Since this isn't the final Aero 3D-accelerated interface, expect more of this but using DirectX.

      4.) Drop-shadow from windows in focus. Again, directly ripped from Apple.

      Longhorn is shaping up how I sort of guessed. More and more, the Explorer windows are being made to look like web pages, with lists and shortcuts running everywhere.

      Since Longhorn will be out in 2006, there's a potential release for another OS X that same year. I predict Steve Jobs will have his designers reimplement Aqua using Quartz/CoreImage. I don't see Apple making everything 3D, but I do see them fully converting everything to vector-based widgets and OpenGL shader effects (that's what CoreImage is based on). Apple has already stated that they have seen no developer interest in integrating full polygonal 3D into the desktop like that, and that developers usually just create a custom OpenGL view.

      Note: I compare to OS X because I'm a recent convert and don't plan to ever go back to Windows again. OS X feels five years ahead of everybody. Since every bit of new Longhorn technology is being backported to Windows XP, the only selling point Longhorn will have is its interface, which is something Microsoft has never been known for excelling at. It should be interesting watching Microsoft attempt to pull off aesthetics. Last time they tried that, we got Luna. Blech.
      • by badriram (699489) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:07PM (#12055591)
        1) There is a drop in windows already. you might not be noticeing it.
        2) OS X, did not exactly make that feature, it is just sudo, with a pretty face. Windows has runAs which similar to su.
        3) Unlike sudo in longhorn, the system actually uses lowest priviledge, as in even if you are logged in as an admin, your applications lauch with lower priviledges, unless you authorize them.
        4) Aero i dont is backported....
      • by MrHanky (141717) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:24PM (#12055705) Homepage Journal
        1.) The dialog that appears asking for an admin password to install software. Directly ripped from OS X.
        Actually, this has been available in Windows XP as well. But since everyone runs as admin anyway, it's probably not very well known. That leads to one of the more interesting news items, though: In Longhorn, Microsoft will introduce the new least privileged user account (LUA), which is basically a secure code compartment in which most application code will typically run. When trusted applications need administrator-level access, they can temporarily run in Protected Admin mode.

        As for ripping off, I think the similarity between Aero's back and forward buttons and the KDE Crystal icon set's [kde-look.org] is rather striking. Microsoft's version does look a tiny bit better, though.
      • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @05:36PM (#12056142)
        Wow. I see post after post as a litany of stuff people feel Microsoft ripped off from others. But does it matter?

        Microsoft, like every other OS manufacturer on the planet, has had search capabilities of some sort or another forever. They're making their's better, Apple is improving their's, etc. Who gives a shit whether Apple or Google or Microsoft starting improving search funtionality first? I happen to be glad that they're making the effort. It will probably be a useful addition.

        Guys, grow up. Unless they're breaking some sort of IP law, you should be applauding them for implimenting the good features of other OSs instead of knocking them down. Linux, OS X and Windows all share a shitload of similar look and feel features as well as mountains of similar features under the hood. Who used the first hard drive? Who used the first start menu-style button? Who put "disk drives" or "My computers" on the top, left of the desktop? Who put a trashcan on the desktop? The fact is, IT DOESN'T MATTER anymore because they all have 'em now.

        Spend yout time dinging the company that doesn't impliment a good feature. Leave MS alone if they're actually trying to things that look or work better.

        TW

        TW
      • 1.) The dialog that appears asking for an admin password to install software. Directly ripped from OS X.

        Pretty sure that was ripped from Linux, before OSX even existed, and I'm also quite certain Linux wasn't the first either.
    • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:52PM (#12055494) Homepage Journal
      But the whole evolution of Microsoft's UI in the last 10 years has centered around stealing screen real estate for useless chrome, unnecessary widgets or information of no utility.

      Look at WMP. WMP 6.4, the pinnacle of usability and compact design (and yes, I now use Media Player Classic), devoted all but a thin border, compact progress bar, and menu bar to content. WMP 10, on the other hand uses up as much space with stupid buttons, goofy widgets of questionable use, some Photoshop flunkie's shiny excretions and other useless noise, as the actual content itself (for videos obviously). It's huge, ugly, hard to use, and the Classic skin seems to have been retired, which was the only one I found to be useful and not butt-ugly or goofy-looking, as opposed to some art-school dropout's idle doodlings...

      You can't expect them to reverse this long trend by devoting more screen space to content! It's all about the application and Windows is becoming like pop music stars who are popular not for their music or talent, but for their clothes, looks or bad behavior. Microsoft, for whom I used to have a fair amount of respect as a UI designer, has fallen into the same trap that has infected every other major software developer since 16-bit color became the norm and the Web helped set back UI standards 15 years... they are more interested in looking "pretty" than being more functional.

      I'll give them one thing, the default Windows XP theme was the ugliest Windows UI since Windows 2.1 (which suffered primarily because it was stuck in 16 colors with exactly 1 palette), but Aero actually looks half-decent, if, typically for MS, cluttered and overly busy. At least it's not ugly. A bit rococo perhaps, but not ugly.

      Still, I imagine that, should I ever find myself using Longhorn, the first thing I'll do is turn it off and go back to the Windows 2000 style, which combined the best functionality with minimal but attractive artistic improvements. But at least Aero doesn't look like a busybox for holding the attention of babies or MS executives.

      Of course, I can't imagine any reason to ever upgrade from Windows 2000, or XP for my laptops that came with it. What could MS possibly offer in Longhorn that an average user would ever want or need? Mostly more protection from all the bad design decisions MS has made over the last 20 years, I suppose. Also, I like the fact that a gigabyte of RAM is still considered a lot. I imagine that will be the minimal reasonable requirement to do any real work with Longhorn, just like 128MB was for Windows 4.0, 256MB was for Windows 2000* and 512MB is for XP.

      Hell, I still use Visual C++ 6. It lets me get the work done that I need to get done efficiently and effectively without bloating me up another half-dozen byzantine technologies getting in the way of me doing work (although I am impressed by what I've read about the compiler in the 2003 version). Actually, I'd probably upgrade, but none of my clients want to. Watcha gonna do? If it works, don't break it.

      * I actually ran 2000 with 64MB on a laptop for some months back around 2000. It actually wasn't too bad as long as I didn't load more than one or two programs, but for any serious work, it wouldn't have been usable.

      • by HermanAB (661181) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:33PM (#12055764)
        I always find the the easiest way to convince people to use the Plain Jane Windows interface, is not patiently explaining that the new look makes it slow, but simply saying: Shall I fix the Teletubbies Look?
      • It's branding (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:51PM (#12055907)
        That's why the UI is getting button-bloat. When you see wmp 6.x, it's so minimalistic it could be anything. When you see wmp 10, there's no doubt you're looking at wmp 10 from Microsoft. Branding is far more important that usability.
      • But the whole evolution of Microsoft's UI in the last 10 years has centered around stealing screen real estate for useless chrome, unnecessary widgets or information of no utility.

        In which respect, they're not all that different from MacOS, KDE, or GNOME. All UI designers are in love with useless eye candy.

        WMP 10 ... uses up as much space with stupid buttons, goofy widgets of questionable use, some Photoshop flunkie's shiny excretions and other useless noise, as the actual content itself (for videos obv

        • Anyway, I don't consider a info bar to be a major GUI design flaw. It's darned handy to get file details without having to bring up a properties box.

          The trouble is, it doesn't even do a good job at it. IMO the single most important piece of information is the file name, in case it's too long to be fully visible in the list view above the status bar. But the statusbar in the screenshot has even less space for the filename than the list view does!
      • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:30PM (#12056444)
        I imagine that, should I ever find myself using Longhorn, the first thing I'll do is turn it off and go back to the Windows 2000 style

        Unless, of course, the default XP theme becomes the new Windows Classic theme for Longhorn. What are you going to do then?
  • Is it just me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:23PM (#12055252)
    Or does the Aero theme not look that revolutionary? It kinda reminds me of Bluecurve actually...
    • This isn't the final Aero interface (the one that will be full 3D accelerated DirectX). Microsoft will be revealing that at their next developer conference.
    • It's not just you. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by biendamon (723952) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:56PM (#12055521)
      The screenshots look like someone from the Microsoft design team saw a Mac and a Fedora machine side by side, and shoved them together.

      Perhaps it's just the techno-nerd in me, but I can't stand it when my computer tries to hide things like actual file locations from me, which is what the new Explorer seems to be doing. The very first thing I do when I set up a Windows machine is turn off all the GUI "features" that hide the contents of directories, file extensions, and menus from me.

      Does anyone actually find these features useful?
  • Bad HIG? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Henk Poley (308046) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:24PM (#12055258) Homepage
    These Aero buttons look so small, they seem difficult to hit to me.
  • by filterchild (834960) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:27PM (#12055277)
    Is anyone else just not impressed here? I'm not a big fan of the uber-eye-candy shiny GUI's, and I know for a fact that a lot of seasoned Windows users aren't either. I favor the cleaner toolkits like GTK and the Blender toolkit, which manages to find a good balance of eye candy. No highlights, no annoying gradients to make us think that the buttons are made from glass-tic, just a relatively clean GUI.
    I'd like to see how a GUI like this "Aero" will go over with the Windows users who instinctively switch every XP box they touch to "classic" mode.
  • by Bruha (412869) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:27PM (#12055281) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry but why are people and business who have for the last 10 years been using Explorer to manage files on pc's and networks suddenly going to embrace a completely different method that is unfamiliar and will reduce productivity at all levels until the user becomes savvy enough to use it.

    No screenshot of this "New OS" has yet to impress me. Maybe it gets it's hype because "New OS" = boost in hardware sales. But you know what. When the majority of your hardware sales are sub 500 pc's you're not going to make up any profits on the early adopters who buy the bigger and faster machines.

    What have we gotten with every new version of Windows.

    Software quits working

    Have to buy new versions of antivirus and other utilities in many cases to get full functionality and also see above.

    Waiting on hardware to get "New Seals of MS Approval" which IMO is silly because that WHQL crap never stopped Nvidia drivers from causing the nv4_disp.dll BDS's.

    Oh and this "New OS" that was supposed to run on pc's that were wildly faster (10Ghz) machines. Where are those new machines??

    Longhorn is a shell of the promises that were made, it most likely incorporates code from XP/NT4 base so will incorporate security holes and bugs and probably new avenues of attack. It's just plain ugly, and probably will be slow at best on existing equipment.

    If you're looking for a new OS you may be better off with OS X on a PPC, or Linux on x86.
    • "I'm sorry but why are people and business who have for the last 10 years been using Explorer to manage files on pc's and networks suddenly going to embrace a completely different method that is unfamiliar and will reduce productivity at all levels until the user becomes savvy enough to use it."

      We all managed to let go of progman and fileman, didn't we? Heck, fileman isn't even included in XP any more, as far as I can tell.
    • I'm sorry but why are people and business who have for the last 10 years been using Explorer to manage files on pc's and networks suddenly going to embrace a completely different method that is unfamiliar and will reduce productivity at all levels until the user becomes savvy enough to use it.

      For the same reason they did 10 years ago? ;-)

      Coincidentally, in 2005 it's 10 years since Microsoft started their Windows 95 era, and a introduced a very different way of working with Windows, compared to Windows 3.
  • Sounds like this is going to be a resource hog (moreso than XP), I wonder what the minimum allowed specs are. I see that recommended on the page is:

    Desktop CPU: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with HyperThreading Technology 530 (or higher) or 3 GHz Intel Xeon processor with 2 MB L2 cache, or AMD Athlon 64, Sempron, or Opteron 100, 200, or 800 processor, single or dual-core versions.
    Mobile CPU: 1.86 GHz Intel Pentium M processor 750 (or higher), or AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology, Mobile Sempron, or Mobil
  • More Apple copying (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iJed (594606) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:28PM (#12055292) Homepage
    It appears that Longhorn will also include piles (or stacks to MS) which were a long rumored [macrumors.com] feature in Mac OS.
    • How Many Times (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LighthouseJ (453757)
      How many times do we have to hear from Mac fanbois about MS copying Apple?

      Apple copied from Xerox, but you don't mention that. Let's all move on, it's not the 80's anymore, MS writes their own code and Apple builds onto BSD. It's been old for years now and it's getting really annoying to hear the same repetitive crap day-in, day-out.
      • Re:How Many Times (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheWama (793038)
        There's a world of difference here:
        • Apple patented [uspto.gov] stacks, years ago, thus creating intellectual property.
        • Apple purchased [apple2history.org] intellectual property from Xerox: "However, a significant change occurred in 1979 when Xerox bought a large chunk of Apple stock. In return for being allowed this stock purchase, Xerox allowed some of their research ideas to be used in designing an office computer."
        • Apple complies [apple.com] with the BSD license agreement [opensource.org], by freely distributing [apple.com] its improvements to the source, and includin
        • Re:How Many Times (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Tim Browse (9263) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @05:46PM (#12056209)
          They filed for the patent in 2001. Kai Krause demonstrated something very similar to me and others in about 1997. I can't imagine Kai didn't show that demo to at least some people at Apple.

          So did Apple 'copy' Kai?

          (For the record, I don't care much myself - I just get tired of the relentless "Microsoft just copy but Apple innovate" stuff. It's not always true.)
      • Re:How Many Times (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CrackedButter (646746)
        Apple licensed the GUI from Xerox. God damn. You criticise him for his repetitive information but then you come out with the same crap about Apple copying Xerox.
      • Re:How Many Times (Score:3, Informative)

        by diamondsw (685967)
        The REASON you hear it is that we're all still astonished people "ooh" and "aah" over features that we've had for YEARS by the time they reach Windows. Furthermore, there have been innumerable examples of how Windows copies features and botches them. A couple examples I ran into in the last hour:

        1) Shortcuts (and symbolic links for that matter) break when the original file moves or is renamed. Aliases (from System 7 in 199-freaking-1) have a two-step process to "find' the original. First based on file-id (
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:28PM (#12055294) Homepage
    Microsoft released community previews [microsoft.com] of Avalon and Indigo a couple days ago. For the most part, Avalon has been working for me. I havn't used Indigo yet.

    As far as I can tell Avalon isn't hardware accelerated yet but it is still pretty low in CPU usage. The fairly simple calculator sample included uses 25 megs of RAM though!

    Fun stuff to play with, even if it's not production ready.
  • by lxt (724570) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:32PM (#12055327) Journal
    From the article:

    "In Longhorn, applications will launch and load files 15 percent faster than with Windows XP."

    How was the figure arrived at exactly? All applications and all files will load 15 percent faster?

    "Additionally, Longhorn will feature a new instant-on capability that will see Longhorn-savvy systems resume from Standby in 2 seconds or less."

    Doesn't "Longhorn-savvy" kind of imply specific hardware is required? Or is that just me? And to be honest, I wouldn't really sell this as a feature other OSs have had for years...OS X certainly starts up from standby on my iBook in under 2 seconds...

    "Longhorn will more reliably resume from crashes,"

    Surely time would have been better spent by programmers and engineers actually stopping the OS from crashing so much? I'm an OS X user, and I'll be the first to admit that when it does crash, it tends to crash badly, but at least (in my experience) the crashes are fairly rare (say, once a month) instead of upwards of one a day...

    "One thing users should be aware of is that Longhorn will include a new kernel and will thus not offer the same level of compatibility with legacy 16-bit and 32-bit code that Windows XP does today. For business users, Microsoft believes that Virtual PC 2007 will help broaden corporations' compatibility options."

    This seems like a bad idea - I'm guessing home users will also want to run legacy applications (that favourite game of your son's that you bought five years ago, that piece of productivity software you really like but can't afford an upgrade)...wouldn't it be better to do what Apple did during the switch between OS 9 & OS X, and bundle an emulator in with the OS? Rather than forcing home users to buy their own copy of Virtual PC 2007?
    • Surely time would have been better spent by programmers and engineers actually stopping the OS from crashing so much?

      That's just insane? Why would they ever do that? After all, customers like crashes!

      They have been working to improve stability since they began, not on longhorn but on OSs, although it didn't really become a major focus until Windows 95... the same operating system you seem to be making your comments from.

      Personally speaking, I keep my 2k and XP machines running for about a month straight
    • *How was the figure arrived at exactly? All applications and all files will load 15 percent faster?*

      the same way that they dubbed XP as optimized for gaming, therefore games run much faster under it(not).

      all the windowses so far have been 'faster' than earlier versions, at least in market speak. to be frank, they might be into something there... maybe they cache 15% of things into memory beforehand or use some other way that theoretically gives a speed boost BUT on all current systems ends up being slower
    • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@amira n . us> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:47PM (#12055448) Homepage Journal
      "One thing users should be aware of is that Longhorn will include a new kernel and will thus not offer the same level of compatibility with legacy 16-bit and 32-bit code that Windows XP does today. For business users, Microsoft believes that Virtual PC 2007 will help broaden corporations' compatibility options."

      I don't believe this. This is market speech. This is totally impossible. If this is the case, we will see the end of the Microsoft monopoly with the release of Longhorn.

      Why run Longhorn and upgrade all your apps (except for the one for which the vendors have died out, but 50% of your department insists on continuing to use because it 'just works'), or run them in a Virtual Machine, when you can get Linux, for free, run Wine, which will offer better compatability, or run either a) Qemu, b) VMware, or c) Remote Desktop into a Windows XP server box for legacy apps.

      I refuse to believe this thing about compatability, because the entire Microsoft monopoly is built on compatability. Microsoft would never drop such a golden ticket into the hands of Windows opponents.

      If this is true, it makes the barriers to either Mac OS X or Linux transitions non-existent. Windows would have to compete on merits alone (security, usability, extensibility).

      Bwahahaha. I'll go back to the real world now. This'll never happen.

    • by Darth Cow (533706) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:59PM (#12055544)
      "but at least (in my experience) the crashes are fairly rare (say, once a month) instead of upwards of one a day..."

      Windows XP doesn't crash one a day, either. I've only gotten a BSOD twice in my years of using it.

      Windows has gotten a lot more stable over the years.
    • How was the figure arrived at exactly?

      Testing?

      All applications and all files will load 15 percent faster?

      It didn't say "all." Do you have to take everything so literally on an OS preview for something coming out in about 1-2 years from now?

      Doesn't "Longhorn-savvy" kind of imply specific hardware is required?

      Yeah, specific hardware is required to enable specific new features. Just like the NX bits in the newer CPUs like AMD64 require newer software (like WinXP SP2) for the new features to work. Wha
  • Nice fonts! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Peter Cooper (660482) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:36PM (#12055353) Homepage Journal
    This proves that the Longhorn fonts news from Poynter [poynter.org] was right, at least. The type in the screenshots looks particularly good, especially compared to XP. Perhaps XP will catch up (or exceed?) OS X in terms of font rendering? Corbel (I think that's the main sans-serif in these screenshots, look at the 'g's) and Calibri are gorgeous screen fonts. A significant improvement over the current XP Tahoma and Verdana fest.
    • Re:Nice fonts! (Score:4, Informative)

      by m_dob (639585) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @05:03PM (#12055966) Homepage
      I hate to be really sad and geeky, but you're wrong about the fonts. The font in the screenshot is actually Frutiger.

      If you look really hard at the lower case 'u' you'll notice there's a tail in the screenshot, where there isn't one in Corbel.

      That said there are visible improvements in the kerning in the screenshot to the native kerning in XP.
  • Is it just me, or is this new theme MS seems to be demonstrating quite possibly the worst idea in the history of light waves?

    Aside from being dark, the title bar buttons are very small, and are flush with the top of the window - meaning lots of missing them and clicking on the window behind it.

    It also seems to add a lot of dimensionality that isn't really needed, and just serves to 'busy-up' the interface. Give me a clean, bright, colourful interface over a dark, plum-colored travesty like this any day.
  • Frightening (Score:3, Funny)

    by Darth Maul (19860) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:38PM (#12055370) Homepage
    There is nothing scarier than a Microsoft fan site. I almost lost my lunch going to that site. What kind of person is actually *excited* about Windows? I have seen the face of the enemy.
    • by edremy (36408)
      a typical Linux fan's room?

      "But Mommmmm! You promised not to throw out my posters of Linus if I stopped using old pizza boxes as a mattress!"

  • by lxt (724570) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:39PM (#12055380) Journal
    Looking at the screenshot, does anyone else think someone at Microsoft might be trying to flee the country once Longhorn has been released? Because there seem to be an awful lot of "Booking cruises at the last minute", "BusRoutes" etc. documents in that folder...
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:39PM (#12055384) Homepage
    My only comment on that screenshot is that Bryan has too much time on his hands if he can write a 65k Word document on "Bathroom Ideas". But I do look forward to his upcoming bestseller, "Pantry Ideas"

  • by Jozer99 (693146) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:43PM (#12055418)
    Has anyone noticed that the pricipal colors are blue, green, and purple? As a graphic artist, I can say that these don't really go together very well. So far, the themes included in all the betas have been absolutely hideous, but have slowly been getting better. I'm hoping that Microsoft hires some compitent graphic artists to completely rework the GUI theme before release. Its sad that an OS with so many usuability enhancements as compaired to XP has to be so ugly.
  • Yawn (Score:5, Funny)

    by JerkyBoy (455854) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:45PM (#12055439) Homepage Journal
    Wow, really exciting stuff there. I guess the really interesting stuff is under the hood, i.e., DRM, Trusted Computing, prorietary XML documents...
  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:46PM (#12055445) Homepage Journal
    Check out this one [winsupersite.com] of an example search results page. Look at the file sizes. They're just duped between sections.. so are the dates! I'm sure you don't have 5 e-mails and 5 totally random files all with corresponding dates and sizes. Seriously, check it out.

    Even if the interface work here isn't fake, there has been some copying/pasting going on OR Longhorn doesn't have file size and date functionality yet ;-)
  • by karmaflux (148909) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:49PM (#12055460)
    and not font smoothing. Because that looks like a bag of ass.
  • by stimpleton (732392) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:52PM (#12055498)
    is head straight for the settings and set "Classic Desktop".

    Hows that fancy screenshot gonna look then.
  • by reboot246 (623534) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @03:56PM (#12055516) Homepage
    Apparently file extensions are still off by default. That "feature" has caused many newbies to double-click on what they think is a .jpg or .doc, only to find out that it's really an .exe that will screw up their system.

    Whenever I work on somebody's computer, one of the first things I have to do is to make the file extensions visible. Why, Microsoft, why?
  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:07PM (#12055596) Homepage
    when an OS meant more than 'ooh what nice eye candy'. Sadly
    that seems to be all anybody cares about any more. Or have
    we reached the point where there is no innovation except
    (debatedly) in how the UI is presented?
  • by vought (160908) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#12055608)
    I've been hearing about Longhorn since before Windows 2000 shipped, actually.

    If it's so great...

    -Why is application launching only 15% faster than XP, despite requiring a 3GHz Pentium?
    -Why can Microsoft only seem to get screen real estate back by shrinking existing controls?
    -Why is this Paul Thurott person so enamored with what will essentially be a has-been OS with the features and security of something you can buy today from Apple?

    If I was Steve Jobs, I'd release Tiger for X86 at MacWorld 2006 - get the PC users hooked before Microsoft can evern release their Tiger work-alike to manufacturing.

    Chumps.
  • by OwlWhacker (758974) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:28PM (#12055742) Homepage Journal
    Although Linux was very similar to Windows in look and feel, even as far back as 2001, many people said that it was too different, that the learning curve was too steep; things were in different places than expected, and that there were too many options.

    That was one of the main reasons why people said they wouldn't consider using Linux. It was one of the main reasons many people wouldn't use Open Office.

    Could it be that upon the release of Longhorn, people may find Linux to be more familiar?

    I've heard many consultants say that businesses (mostly small businesses) won't switch from Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Office, even though alternatives would definitely suffice, purely because their employees (or at least some of them) can't handle change.

    Many people still use insecure Microsoft solutions, because they feel overwhelmed when presented with something even slightly different. Look at the hassle getting people to switch to the more secure Firefox Web browser!

    I guess that the new look and feel of Longhorn is either going to cause people to postpone upgrading as long as possible, or even give people more incentive to try out Linux. I mean, if you're going to have to get used to something new anyway, why not put Linux in the mix?
  • Aero? Aqua? (Score:3, Funny)

    by fdicostanzo (14394) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:37PM (#12055801)
    Clearly its time for an Open source based desktop UI and the name is clear: Pyro! with the flaming red color scheme or Terro!: the earth tone goddess desktop
  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @04:47PM (#12055883)
    See even more screenshots and features to be released in Longhorn here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/ [apple.com]

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:49PM (#12056527) Homepage Journal
    Is it me, or does each revision of Longhorn look more and more like OSX ?
  • by alucinor (849600) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:18PM (#12056719) Journal

    I use Linux and Windows both. They're suited best for different tasks, different people. But I'm definitely not so much a Windows guy. Here's why:

    Linux can be very stripped-down if you want it to be (word to the Gentoo-ers -- yeah!). I can arrange my personal directories exactly how I want them, and I can get to everything I need very quickly, thanks to the omnipotence of the command line. Basically, Linux has the feel of a complex math equation that has been totally factored down to its optimal simplicity.

    But Windows seeks to acheive a similar feeling of simplicity not through elegant design, but through showmanship: a veneer of simplicity acheived through even more underlying complexity. It throws all these abstraction layers over your files and your tasks, so that you have to rely on more software to do your stuff.

    If there's one thing programming has taught me, it's that software is one of the most unreliable things humans have ever made. If the same task can be accomplished with less code, then you have better code -- always (unless less code results in horrible machine efficiency or lack of modularity).

    If I want to get to all my stuff on my Linux partition, I just click up /garage.

    If I want my stuff on Windows, I click into D:\. Not too bad, but wait -- all those abstraction layers in Windows constantly insist that I keep my files in C:\Documents and Settings\alucinor\My Documents. But what if I don't want to keep my music files in C:\Documents and Settings\alucinor\My Documents\My Music? Just set an option, right?

    Heh ... I do that, and it ~would~ normally work. But since there's so many abstractions, so much software, I often will find crap getting stuck in the My Music folder yet again later, sometimes by the same program.

    What I don't like about the Windows design philosophy is that they want to take your computer use into their hands, and they do it acting as though those hands of theirs are perfect. But when they're less than perfect, it just gets annoying, and their hands get in your way.

    "Quit auto-archiving my media files, Media Player! Just show me a directory structure instead of artist/album breakdowns of what's in the My Music folder! I just want to burn a cd, dammit!"

    Yeah. Looks like WinFS is just going to throw even more sediments of imperfect software in the way of what I want to do. "They're features!"

    Advice to OS makers: let the OS stay in the background. Too bad that's impossible for a company that ~has~ to make the OS seem important.

    When I use Linux I don't think about using Linux. I just use it.

    When I use Windows I'm constantly reminded that I'm using Windows. That's bad design. But I suppose it's necessary when your business is the OS.

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