Amy Stephan, a senior product manager with the Windows client unit, has been outlining what users should expect from Longhorn, the forthcoming version of the Windows client operating system, due in 2006. Stephan made the following claims of the new OS:

- Launch applications 15 percent faster than Windows XP does
- Boot PCs 50 percent faster than they boot currently and will allow PCs to resume from standby in two seconds
- Allow users to patch systems with 50 percent fewer reboots required
- Reduce the number of system images required by 50 percent
- Enable companies to migrate users 75 percent faster than they can with existing versions of Windows.

Putting aside for a moment how much nicer faster launching apps are, the two seconds standby resumption is a welcome specification for laptops, and removing patch reboots is also a great thing. How much nicer would it be to point your machine at the Windows update site and have it do everything in one go, rather than having to make multiple trips? I was also very pleased to hear about efforts to help allow administrators to install Longhorn on new systems in 15 minutes. The provision of a new “guided recovery” help for "unbootable" systems also sounds like something long overdue.