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Windows .NET Server Delays Complicate Longhorn Schedule

Jim Allchin, Microsoft group vice president for the platforms group, confirmed at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle this week that the "Longhorn" release will come later than originally planned.

Longhorn first emerged as an interim operating system release between Whistler, which later became Windows XP and the Windows .NET Server family, and Blackcomb, a major rev of the operating system that is supposed to revolutionize the user interface and fully embrace XML Web services.

"The next big wave for us is beyond 2003, which we’re working on very hard, and Longhorn is the code name," Allchin said during his WinHEC keynote. Other speakers at WinHEC put the date for a Longhorn release further into 2004.

Longhorn was originally supposed to ship in 2003. But like a base runner, this OS can't pass the one in front of it, and Windows .NET Server has yet to make it to home plate.

Windows .NET Server hit a delay earlier this year, due in part to a security review relating to the Trustworthy Computing initiative. The official line from Microsoft is that a Release Candidate for Windows .NET Server will become available this summer and the code will release to manufacturing (RTM) in the second half of 2002.

A late 2002 RTM means general availability will be sometime in 2003. That delay is not the first for the server-half of Whistler. Windows .NET Server, under other names, was originally supposed to ship in early 2002, shortly after Windows XP's late 2001 release.

Meanwhile, the Longhorn project is growing into something more ambitious than original Microsoft plans called for.

"We’re going to synchronize a tremendous amount of our technology behind [Longhorn]," Allchin said in his WinHEC keynote. "A significant number of people are working on it, and throughout the conference you will be seeing little pieces of that technology being shown."

Some of those pieces include enhanced storage capabilities, new graphics capabilities and more APIs.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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