According to sources close to the software giant, Microsoft should be announcing soon a revamped roadmap for its next Windows release, code-named Longhorn. After several delays the company says it wants to make sure that many of the features that corporate customers, manufacturers and consumers wanted make it on time, even if certain trade-offs are needed in order to meet its deadlines that include a beta version of the OS next year and a final release by 2006.

Longhorn was originally supposed to have three major changes: a new file system, WinFS; a new graphics and presentation engine known as Avalon; and Indigo, a Web services and communication architecture.

Microsoft is making changes to all three pillars. WinFS will be available as a beta when the Longhorn release comes out as a client. Avalon and Indigo will be part of Longhorn, but also made available separately at the time the client ships for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, sources said.