Microsoft has been giving some briefings as to what users will be able to expect from the new Windows operating system, codenamed Longhorn. Security is of course very high on the agenda, as is improved desktop searching and organizing, and better methods for laptops to roam from one network to another.

Described as nothing less than "the OS platform for the next ten years", Longhorn is currently expected to be on its Beta 1 release by this summer, and should be with us in its final form some time in the summer of 2006. Jim Allchin, group vice president of Microsoft's Platforms Group, says that Microsoft has identified six primary goals for the new operating system:

1. It just works
2. Safe and secure
3. Easy to deploy and manage
4. Client experiences—at work, at home, and on the go
5. The right server for your business
6. OS platform for the next ten years

Some observers have made the comment that Longhorn bears more than a passing resemblance to Tiger, the next version of Mac OS. Allchin, however, claims that Longhorn breaks new ground, and that it goes further than Tiger when it comes to what one can do with search results, and many other technologies. We will just have to wait and see.