The Windows "Longhorn" Roadmap
- By Scott Bekker
Some notable milestones in the Longhorn delivery schedule and Microsoft's dates for future deliverables:
PDC Longhorn -- This was the first public release of Longhorn, handed out at the Professional Developers Conference in October 2003. Microsoft described PDC Longhorn as a pre-alpha or technical preview, which was not feature complete and was designed to gather feedback from developers. It was Build 4051 of Longhorn, and is also sometimes referred to as M6, for milestone 6, an internal name for a stage in product development.
M7.2 Longhorn -- This was the second public release of Longhorn, and it was distributed to attendees at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in May 2004. It was made available to MSDN subscribers at the same time. Also a pre-alpha technical preview for developer feedback. The build number was 4074.
This version added a number of new features to the Avalon subsystem but made no changes to Indigo. Performance and scalability were also improved.
Widespread Beta -- Currently planned for 2005, sometimes referred to as something coming in the first half of the year.
Windows "Longhorn" Client, General Availability -- The current roadmap, as of August, calls for 2006. In an early October speech in the Netherlands, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joked that he didn't have to point out to the assembled software developers that the target date meant sometime around Dec. 31, 2006. We'll let that stand on its own without comment.
WinFX/Indigo/Avalon Available to Windows XP & Windows Server 2003 -- Loosely targeted for the same timeframe as Longhorn ships, but possibly before.
WinFS Beta -- This complex component is scheduled to be available in beta around the same time as the Longhorn client ships in 2006.
Windows "Longhorn" Server -- Currently planned for 2007.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.