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Longhorn: MS announces 2006 target

Finally...a press announcement straight from Microsoft

Microsoft Announces 2006 Target Date for Broad Availability Of Windows "Longhorn" Client Operating System
Windows WinFX Developer Technologies Will Be Made Available For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003

REDMOND, Wash. -- Aug. 27, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced it will target broad availability of the Windows® client operating system code-named "Longhorn" in 2006, and make key elements of the Windows WinFXTM developer platform in "Longhorn" available for Windows XP and Windows ServerTM 2003.

"Longhorn" will deliver major improvements in user productivity, important new capabilities for software developers, and significant advancements in security, deployment and reliability.

"Getting 'Longhorn' to customers in 2006 will provide important advances in performance, security and reliability, and will help accelerate the creation of exciting new applications by developers across the industry," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software

Microsoft will deliver a Windows storage subsystem, code-named "WinFS," after the "Longhorn" release. The new storage system provides advanced data organization and management capabilities and will be in beta testing when the "Longhorn" client becomes available.
Full Press Announcement: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/Aug04/08-27Target2006PR.asp
The Channel9 team talks to Jim Alchin of Microsoft about the latest plans as far as LH is concerned:

A re-iteration of the major points in Microsoft's previous announcement:
1.) Microsoft is reaffirming our commitment for broad availability of the Windows “Longhorn” Client in 2006.

2.) Microsoft plans to make elements of Longhorn’s WinFX programming model available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This will enable developers to write WinFX applications that run on hundreds of millions of PCs and offer these next generation of applications sooner. Specifically, Microsoft plans to deliver the “Avalon” and “Indigo” pillars of Longhorn’s WinFX programming model for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

3.) We originally planned to ship a new data storage system codenamed “WinFS” when we released the Longhorn Client. In order to deliver Longhorn’s innovations to customers as quickly as possible, we now intend to deliver WinFS after the initial availability of Longhorn client. We continued to be committed to WinFS. It is expected to beta when Longhorn client is broadly available.
The Windows “Longhorn” Server Operating System continues to be expected to be available in 2007.
I'm excited and can't wait. On the other hand it will be kind of sad for XP, but I will cedrtainly have a dual boot happening. The big question NetRdyer, will Microsoft release WinXP SE or even a SP3, SP4 before Longhorn. I'm hearing yes and it will continue to be delayed.
From all the reports that I've read, I'm almost certain there won't be an interim Windows release (what you call XP SE) between now and LH. There is a possibility of another service pack, but I doubt it would be of the magnitude of SP2; more along the lines of SP1, perhaps.

There have also been reports of "XP Reloaded," which is expected in the near future. However, this is more of a marketing campaign than a whole new product or a major service pack.

Looking more into the distant future, Microsoft will back-port the Avalon (presentation) and Indigo (communications) subsystems to XP come 2006. I think this is very good news, especially for developers, who will get a chance to gradually move over to the new WinFX APIs even before Longhorn ships.

Finally, as I quoted above, LH is slated to ship in 2006. There has been no mention of what part of 2006, but the later half sounds like a more likely estimate. This release will ship without the WinFS storage subsystem, which will probably be in the beta phase when LH goes gold. WinFS will be incorporated into LH sometime later (perhaps 2007).

As far as delays go: I wouldn't rule out the possibility, and it's quite likely that it'll happen, but I don't believe that it'll go beyond 2006. As I said, MS hasn't mentioned exactly when in 2006 they plan to have the LH RTM build ready. Taking delays into account, the later half of 2006 doesn't sound too unreasonable.


Secret Goat Fetish
Political User
basically they've decided that win fs is gona take too long??

i though longhorn was originaly gona be based on it, and that was why it is gona be so different :eek: now it;s gona be xp with some extra's?
Henyman said:
basically they've decided that win fs is gona take too long??
Pretty much. That's the trade-off they had to make in order to stick to their committment to deliver in 2006. Let's hope they can stick to that committment.

i though longhorn was originaly gona be based on it, and that was why it is gona be so different :eek: now it;s gona be xp with some extra's?
Longhorn wasn't going to based on WinFS. WinFS is simply one of the three pillars - the metadata storage system that sits on top of the NTFS filesystem and enables complex searches and allows applications to explore this metadata content for various purposes. Even without WinFS, LH will still include improved search functionality in the initial '06 release. And considering the fact that WinFS will be in beta at the time of the LH release, it won't be very long before it will go gold and plug into the system.

Then of course, you still have the other two subsystems - Avalon and Indigo, which should bring in a whole new UX (Aero) and other improvements in communications technologies.

It's still really too early to decide whether LH will be "worth the upgrade." We haven't even had a chance to see what MS has in store for us. But if I have to wait until 2006, I sure as hell hope it's worth the wait. =)
Jeremy Mazner, Longhorn Technical Evangelist:
What happened to WinFS?

Chris Anderson, Avalon architect:
A few Avalon Q's

As you can see, don't believe everything you read from third-party sources. Sites like the Register and eWeek have been claiming that Avalon has been removed from the picture too. As you can see from Chris' response, that's simply not true.
Methinks these so-called "news" sites need to read up before posting misleading information (remember the eWeek SP2 "security flaws" nonsense?).


Staff member
Political User
Well I think it would be good to include the WinFS in the initial release but seems that is taking more time to get it right I guess. Though the big question still remains as with it seems most of software releases from MS is how secure it will be.

Thanks NetRyder for the links etc
Thanks for the links NetRyder. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I also sure hope that WinFS is included in the initial release of Longhorn. It would only make sense to go public with the complete package as the general public might be a little skeptical if MS short changes people on the product. It gets to be a little confusing with which file system, communications infrastructure will go where, Longhorn or XP. Who gets what? Avalon, Indigo, WinFS
Avalon = presentation/visuals subsystem
Indigo = communications subsystem
WinFS = storage (metadata) subsystem

The initial '06 release of LH will include Avalon and Indigo, along with improved search functionality and other enhancements/feature-additions to the fundamentals that will not be present in XP at the time (this will be an incentive to upgrade probably). WinFS will be in beta testing during this time, and will be released only for LH in months following the '06 LH release.

Avalon and Indigo will be back-ported to XP and Server 2003, presumably at the same time as the '06 LH release, or possibly earlier, to make the transition easier for developers. As it stands now, WinFS will NOT make it's way back into XP/2003 though. So even if you continue to stick with XP after the '06 LH release, you'll still need to upgrade to take advantage of what WinFS has to offer.

Hope that cleared things up a bit.

While it was a bit of a disappointment to hear that LH will initially ship without WinFS (this was the pillar I was really looking forward to), I'm still very excited to learn that we'll see Avalon and Indigo making their way back into XP. Plus, WinFS hasn't been flushed down the drain either - we still get to see it following the LH release.


Act your wage.
Political User
Good info here, NetRyder. :)

It sure is taking Microsoft a long time with this OS, though. I'm afraid that my expectations will be so enormous by the time it is released that I won't be as satisfied with the final product. You know how anticipation builds over time. Two years from now, I'll probably want Longhorn to make me pancakes and mow the yard... and I'll probably be disappointed if it doesn't. :p

Seriously though, the leap from XP to Longhorn had better be tremendous -- as in Windows 3.1 to Windows XP tremendous. What with the talk of a necessary 128MB graphics card to handle Longhorn's most advanced visual enhancements, and other specs like a 6GHz system with 2GB of RAM. These aren't exact numbers mind you, but I remember reading something similar a few months back. Of course, technology will have us there by then, it's just crazy to think that the OS will require those specs to take advantage of all it will have to offer. Until then, "patience" is the word.
From the AnandTech article:
In order to meet deadlines and to emphasize security features, Microsoft has decided to cut WinFS, the replacement to NTFS from Longhorn and in addition have decided to size down Avalon
The first part is true, but poorly worded. WinFS hasn't been cut. It will ship for Longhorn systems, only at a later date. I don't know where he got the second part from, and I wouldn't trust it until/unless it comes from a reliable Microsoft source. As I mentioned above, Chris Anderson (who is part of the Avalon team) has clearly stated that Avalon is still going full steam ahead.

As we suggested on Friday, two mainstays of Windows Longhorn will be 'decoupled' from the 2006 release, with Microsoft dropping the WinFS storage and query system. Originally intended to be a full-blown replacement for the NTFS file system that put a database at the heart of Windows, WinFS will now be available as an add-on no sooner than 2007 for Longhorn, XP and Windows 2003. Or to be more precise - and here is another new piece of jargon for Redmond watchers - WinFS will be released as an "out-of-band add-on pack". Got that?
1) Two mainstays decoupled from '06 LH? From every official MS announcement that's been released so far, we know that only WinFS will not be included in the initial '06 release. How is that two mainstays decoupled?
2) WinFS was never intended to be a "full-blown replacement for the NTFS file system." It has been made clear time and again that WinFS is NOT a filesystem. WinFS will sit on top of an improved/modified version of today's NTFS filesystem (just like 2k and XP have different versions of NTFS) and will be used as a metadata store.
3) Microsoft has never stated that WinFS will be available for XP and Server 2003. It will be integrated into Longhorn a few months after the initial '06 release.

A cut-down version of Avalon, minus the compositor and the new device driver model will be backported to Windows XP too. Microsoft had already pledged to backport the next generation of middleware APIs, code named Indigo, to XP
Finally...something that's true!


Staff member
Political User
As I said I don't put lot of faith in the source at Anandtech but still thought it was worth at least getting some feedback from here on it. To be honest I don't trust much of anything thats being said about Longhorn no matter the source as in a year plus a lot can and most likely will change.

Thanks for your thoughts on the info NetRyder
Thanks for the clarification. Window Types, Dynamic Sets, Static Sets. Ok, lots to learn about but it sounds like winFS will help organize quicker and more efficiently. I found this link as well that explains things really well. Also some visual tutorial.
What is WinFS



Spammer representing.
Political User
Some of the ideas are already present, such as

Dynamic Sets
Dynamic sets are the results of queries based on the properties of items (for example, image files or all files created in February) in "WinFS" that are run against certain locations (called the scope). The sets can be used across different computers. For example, scope can include the computer you are using, a shared server, or a company's network domain.

In "WinFS," dynamic sets are the preferred way that users can organize their files—not by location, but by the properties most relevant to them. For example, an attorney could organize her documents by client name and case number. She could then see all the documents related to a particular client and case. She could browse to her documents by either client name or case number and then use the other property to narrow the results. If she had a document that applied to three different cases, she could associate the document with all three cases without having to make copies of the document or manage shortcuts.

I have my workstation that I control most of our databases from, and have full share access to almost all the PC's on our network. So to search for a file by computer, creation date, size, type, etc... is nothing new.

And the idea of Static sets is flawed, using recent documents lists is just as easy.

WinFS" supports efficient indexing of file content, which enables rich querying that is very difficult to achieve with other file systems. For example, in "WinFS" it is easy to search files based on their content and other criteria such as file name, title, author, or date of publication. This would be difficult, if not impossible, in a traditional file system such as NTFS. In addition, "WinFS" still has efficient streaming capabilities—the cornerstone of traditional file systems—to handle large data values.

The biggest improvement will be the metadata, and hopefully a truly better index.

/Longhorn, find me that letter that I was sending to Billy Gates about how evil he is.


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