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Longhorn instead of Windows XP SE

By Phantasm66 · 13 replies
Apr 10, 2004
  1. "Microsoft won't ship an interim version of Windows, retail or otherwise, before Longhorn according to email seen by Business Week. The memos from a week ago suggest that Microsoft is jettisoning features from Longhorn in order to meet the ship date of the first half of 2006."

    I am in a mixed mood about this. On one hand, it means that we don't get a Microsoft tax in the form of Windows XP SE. On the other hand, it does mean that more advanced features due in Longhorn will instead be pushed back to Blackcomb, which I don't think we will see for years.

    Its probably all academic anyway: any roadmaps or release schedules that Microsoft ever seems to release seem to be complete and utter bunkum. The truth is, you'd better just wait and see.

    More here.
  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    I think this is good. No one needs a new version of windows every year/two.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    we dont???

    I'd like to see windows updated much more often than it is. Apple releases a new OS every year basically, seems to be working out for them.
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Well, if they actually released something worthy of being called an upgrade it would be one thing, but when you get things like 98 was, its not worth it. If you'll remember, 98 was pretty much just a few cosmetic changes when compared to 95 OSR2.5

    And about the roadmap stuff, didn't MS recently say that they had no scheduled release date for Longhorn? I seem to remember something like "it will be released when its ready"
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    What I would like to see is an OS done right... Not this "feature jettison" crap. 2007... 2008... It's worth it to have something that works right.

    I don't know how often you use Apples, but every version of OSX breaks a number of apps that worked fine in the last release. Personally, I don't think this works at all. And it certainly isn't worth the $70-$90 to upgrade every 6 months for the new OS X.x
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +7

    Longhorn will wind up being Windows 2005 - basically Windows XP with a new interface, service pack 2 and all the latest updates.

    Blackcomb, on the other hand, isn't really Windows at all I think. At least, not as we presently understand it. It may even be 2010 before Blackcomb arrives. For Blackcomb, Microsoft may even buy huge portions of SCO UNIX and encorporate them in, in such a way that if you launch command prompt you get a UNIX prompt, or a choice of command prompt in MS-DOS or UNIX. To "put the nail in the coffin of Linux", which by this time will likely be on kernel 3.0 or something and running slick++.

    What we (or rather, the general public) really want with each new release of Windows is a new version of the OS that's:

    -Faster to load and faster to run

    -Easier to operate and more intuitive to navigate around.

    -Less error prone, with simpler language and controls.

    -Faster to load applications and better at organising itself when more apps are opened.

    -Has more features that effectively deal with the annoyances - i.e spam, pop-ups, offensive content available to minors, etc.

    99% of the computer using masses out there don't give a damn about games, hardware upgrades, drivers, linux, kernels or blackcombs or whatever. They care about doing their work without things hanging or crashing. They care out being able to do something in the way that they instinctively wanted to easily and quickly.

    What you instead seem to get with every release of Windows is an interface that has more CPU cost to operate, more features with more bugs as opposed to more bugs being fixed in existing software. Its seems to be more about justifying the cost of the product through adding more nice colors and toys as opposed to working on stabiling it from the inside.

    Red Hat Linux (now Fedora Core) got/gets about 2 new releases per year, but they always come across as genuine upgrades which add new functionality and features, but first and foremost stabilise and develop what's come before - i.e. a real upgrade as opposed to a facelift and a tinker under the hood.
  7. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

    Well, am I the only one that will not upgrade to XP from 2000???

    I went to 2000 because it was vastly more stable than Win98, it had some compability problems but them I did not care much of...

    I did not use NT4.0 because it "really" was a workstation OS; i.e. no games could be run on it....

    To me XP is just a load of crap, they took everything that was good about Windows 2000 and made it less stable, require more resourcues and be harder to navigate...

    But users seem not to realize this... Well, this is my rant for the day
  8. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

    Well, some more info just to make it clear; I will continue to use Windows 2000 untill programs or games start to require a newer version of Windows to even run... But I see no real reason that this will happen in atleast 5+ years...

    And there is no chanche that MS will stop making bugfixes for 2000; because most corps are still switching from NT4 to 2000 and they will kill MS if they stop supporting Windows 2000 anytime soon (say 7+ years...)

    And by that time I am 100% confident that Linux will have reaced such a market acceptance that I can run that as my Primary and only OS without compatibility problems... This will be the real blow for Microsoft....
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I don't have sufficient imagination to see how it could be made "simpler". Every new version of Windows® has added more and more wizards and assistants, right from the start. Even "Professional" and server versions show visually how to press ctrl+alt+del, how to use mouse buttons, how to click "Start" button.

    It wouldn't be helpful when errors happen if you'd just get "An error has occurred." with "OK" button. How could tech support (or people in forums like this) tell what to do to fix it? But I agree, less errors would be nice ;)

    In My Opinion™, the interface which is getting "simpler and simpler" with more eye candy, assistants and which requires tons of screen estate, just gets into my way. It's not a way of doing things easier and quicker. A good UI is one an user doesn't even think about.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 5,734   +7

    You'd be surprised just how difficult a number of users find even just that. I worked at a university for a number of years helping students and lecturers with their computer problems and even people with doctorates were often completely lost if asked to log off or to find something in control panel. They want something that does all that for itself. Pretending otherwise is just a waste of time.

    No one is suggesting that suppressing errors altogether is helpful, but does the end user - some 10 year old kid playing a Finding Nemo computer game, or some office type who just knows sage and word - want to know that a stack overflow has just occurred in kernel32.vxd ???

    Ugly blue screens, weird code that only makes sense to operating systems developers, etc, etc - all of it scares normal mortals into thinking that computers are frightening, strange things that only crazy boffins and geeks can understand and operate properly.

    What we want is to create a system that effectively funnels that kind of information reporting into an environment - not unlike event viewer, or something better - and keeps it away from people who might get upset by it.

    What I think is needed is a simple interface that does what you want it to do because that's the way you think it should be done. This can only be achieved with a whole new way of thinking about how we operate computers, because the way we do right now is still pretty naff altogether, no matter if its on MacOS, Windows, Linux, Solaris or anything.

    Blackcomb will be adding a fairly radically different interface which will - according to Microsoft - be solving these kinds of issues.
  11. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

    Well, P66, the issue is really education.

    In any other enviroment it is a given that you need an education to understand the machine you are to operate but this seems not to be the same for computers

    For some reason people are supposed to just understand them right away...

    When I went to school we did not have a computer at home; and we only had one per school room; and we where not educated in any controlled form on how to use the computer... Where where just supposed to figure it out ourselves I guess....

    And trust me this holds try yet today; I work as a learner for the Goverment in the IT Department that controls a few schools also, and while the students of today are becoming very good at computers it is not because they have been educated on how to use them in school...

    Because the teachers come with many very stupid questions sometimes...

    The operating system is not the problem, Windows 2000 is very easy to navigate and understand if you just get a basic course on it... But Microsoft seems to believe that anyone that has never before seen a computer is supposed to just insert the Win 2xxx CD and right away be doing amazing video editing etc etc...

    This just makes me sick of them, and are the "guides" in XP any good at all when you have had a basic course on how to use Windows? No; they are simply annoying!

    Finding a file used to be easy; now there is an ugly dog telling me how to search for files?!

    And what about the Network Neighborhood? There is like 5 different ways to reach it and all ways bring you to a slightly different interface, lovley!
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I agree that education is the main problem. Also, designing an OS that is both easy to use and flexible is certainly not easy. Having flexibility means that you have more control over your OS, which in turn means that you will have access to all those options that will be guaranteed to confuse the average user. No doubt there are things that can and will be improved in the next version of windows, but as it stands windows xp is still my favourite OS, and it is certainly better than Linux in hiding all that nasty commandline and volume mounting nonscence from the average user. Installing most apps is painless and simple, and most, but not all, things are pretty intuitive. Maybe microsoft should produce a very much simplified OS (much simpler that xp home) for users that find modern OSes difficult, as these users won't need to install and run complex software to do complex tasks that they wouldn't be able to understand anyway. Multimedia, entertainment, games and basic office tasks should be enough for them.
  13. digge

    digge TS Rookie

    They already did create a much simpler os, its called Xbox ;)
  14. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    i suppose the people that use computers a lot more often are those people who have been exposed to computers at a young age. the younger generation these days seem to be more comfortable with computers than the older generation. my mother seems like she's almost afraid of the computer because she doesn't quite understand how to use it (despite me trying to teach her). computers are a new technology and the majority of my mother's generation have not quite grasped how to use the computer.

    the OS needs to get to the point when people can get things done very simply without petrifying the novice user. even the windows start menu is daunting for some of my brother (maybe it is because my start menu has too many items). OS'es are just not very intuitive for most people to try out. people who have never driven cars until they are forty are more willing to try to drive than use a computer.

    Microsoft has a done a good job of bringing the computer and OS (with all of its inherent problems) to the masses so far. i doubt as many people will be using computers if they had to run Unix or Linux. upgrading Windows on a laptop is already a pain (Linux is even worse).

    i wonder if longhorn is going to be any good when it is released. it would be foolish on Microsoft's part to rush out something half-heartedly an OS as Windows ME.
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