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Old 10-13-2004, 09:01 PM   #61
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Default Re: Windows "Longhorn" Screenshots

well tell him to hurry up!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:01 PM   #62
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I want to take a time out to thank everyone who has visited Windows "Longhorn" Screenshots. I will continue to find more and more screens with maybe a smaller file per pic and more information on Longhorn. I know they take a while for some computers to load, so I will make the effort to make them smaller files. Thanks again!

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COMING SOON!!!

"LONGHORN FROM THE START"

I have wrote a Longhorn discription of how everything got started.

Please check back real soon.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:22 PM   #63
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Please read! This will give lots of details on Longhorn. For more information please contact me by posting a message here.


The Road to Longhorn

The next release of Windows is set to be as big a change from XP as Windows 95 was from Windows 3.1.

At the foot of the sleepy ski resort of Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, just off a small road called Blackcomb Way, lies the Longhorn Saloon and Grill – an enticing restaurant that serves up food and drink to provide, in their own words, “the perfect ending to a day on the mountain”. The Longhorn Saloon is where people go when they’re through with Whistler, which is curiously similar to the situation Windows users are in. Whistler was the codename for Windows XP, and Longhorn is the codename for the next generation release of Windows, supposedly due in 2005.


Windows, codenamed Longhorn, isn’t just a new GUI (Graphical User Interface), nor is it an evolutionary build of Windows XP. Instead, Longhorn is the culmination of several key Microsoft initiatives from the past few years, including .NET, DirectX, SQL Server, Trustworthy Computing, MSN Messenger, and Windows Installer.


Although Longhorn isn’t due out in the shops till 2005, Microsoft has taken great pains to ensure that Longhorn is on everyone’s lips. In order to keep people talking about it, Microsoft has put out a number of pre-alpha releases of Longhorn. These act as technology previews of what the final release might look like, and enable developers to work towards the new operating system. With over 18 months until release date, these releases have been more showcases than previews, and the majority of new features planned for Longhorn have yet to materialise.


Three pillars
Longhorn brings with it many fundamental changes to the Windows platform. Microsoft has encapsulated the changes under the banner of WinFX. This can be broken down into four key technology ‘pillars’; Fundamentals, Avalon, WinFS, and Indigo. Fundamentals is the operating system core we’re used to from Windows XP, but is re-engineered to properly follow Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing mantra. It includes new ‘ClickOnce’ technology to make installation and maintenance of software much easier.


Avalon is a completely new graphics system that’s intended for use on all future Longhorn-based applications, replacing older systems like GDI and GDI+. Avalon powers Aero, which is the new graphics engine, and does away with the old, component-based system of Windows development. In its place we get an all-new, vector-based system that keeps user interface information stored in a dialect of XML, known as the XML Application Markup Language (XAML).


Much work is being done on the next release of DirectX (tentatively named DirectX Next) to offer better throughput of primitive shapes, and the Longhorn desktop will render all of its display through DirectX for maximum aesthetic effect. Demos have already been shown where windows have been transparent, rotated, scaled, and warped, while still retaining their functionality. This is made possible by the vector UI system and DirectX rendering. In order to keep the desktop clear of animated clutter and glitz for business users, the new Aero-style interface can be downgraded to a more traditional style by the administrator, although this will take place automatically if you don’t have the required graphics hardware.


WinFS is a new file system that’s integrated with some of the technology Microsoft developed for use with SQL Server, codename Yukon. This is a product that will eventually be SQL Server 2004 or SQL Server.NET. The plan is to use the existing NTFS filesystem that we’re used to from Windows 2000 and XP, and to add proper support for metadata. Metadata is “data about data”, and will be used to describe the contents of the files on your hard drive. Much of this was already in Windows XP. If you convert a music CD to Windows Media Audio format when online, Media Player will auto-connect to an online CD music database to get the name of the artist, the name of the tracks, the year it was recorded, and the genre for the CD, storing that information inside each file. What’s new in Longhorn is the ability to look at your hard drive through a metadata-filtered view. For example, you could sort your music folder by artist, even though the artist’s information isn’t stored in the filename itself but in the metadata. It’s possible that this will only be available in the My Documents folder in the Longhorn release.


The final component in the three pillars is Indigo. This is the communications layer that’s designed to both bring together all the advances Microsoft has made in its move to .NET, as well as bringing in a new set of technologies at the same time. Combining various disparate parts of .NET into one API means that developers will be able to access a selection of protocols and security measures all through one interface, which in turn should help to increase security, whilst adding a great deal of flexibility at the same time. End users can expect applications to work together much more smoothly if all of Microsoft’s hopes for Indigo come true. It will finally bring the power of web services to the desktop in a way that everyone can use. Microsoft has committed to back-porting the Indigo subsystem to both Windows XP and Windows 2003, which should help its adoption.


New features and technologies are all well and good, but to really understand what Longhorn offers, you need to look at it from the viewpoint of the three types of user who will buy it; enterprise users looking to deploy to hundreds or thousands of desktops; small office and home users looking to work smarter with their existing resources, and developers looking to take advantage of the latest technologies.


Big business
Despite Windows XP having been out for some time now, Windows 2000 continues to be the most popular enterprise desktop system in use,. For the large part, this is because it’s easy to manage and very stable. Responding to repeated requests from its customers to lengthen its Windows product cycle, Microsoft will make Windows XP last from late 2001, when it was released, to late 2005/2006 when Longhorn will finally arrive.


As a result, Microsoft will have had over four years to develop Longhorn into a product that will be as popular in big business as Windows 2000. There are three key technologies that will drive this. The first is Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), an initiative most of us know by its original codename, Palladium. Many stories and rumours regarding Palladium have circled the web since it was first announced, with people saying it will remove all freedom from computing, that it will lock you into Microsoft and certain hardware manufacturers, and that it will stop you using unauthorised software (that is, software that ‘they’ don’t want you to use). Some parts are true. Microsoft has said that “much of the NGSCB architecture design is covered by patents, and there will be intellectual property issues to be resolved. It’s too early to speculate on how those issues might be addressed.” If patents are involved, running NGSCB hardware almost certainly means lock-in, so be careful what you commit to. If this 1984-like event doesn’t materialise, NGSCB has the potential to help companies form stronger and more secure networks. It has a finely grained trust system that’s built from the hardware up, meaning that when someone sends you an email, you can verify that it came from that person and their system.


From a software management perspective, one of the new features being introduced in Longhorn is ClickOnce. This is anticipated to enable easy installation, maintenance, and uninstallation of software. This feature, which is being introduced in the next version of Microsoft’s Visual Studio.NET development tools will also allow dynamic updating of applications in roughly the same manner as Windows Update currently works. The plan here is that by keeping applications patched, one set of security issues can be struck off the check list.


One area that’s sure to please CTOs the world over is platform compatibility. Longhorn is available in three different flavours for three different architectures – one for x86 (Pentium-class hardware), one for AMD64 (Opteron and Athlon64), and one for ia64 (Itanium and Itanium 2). As a result you can standardise your OS irrespective of the hardware you choose. We believe that the ia64 build may not ever be released given the current success of the architecture, but it’s possible that Intel may cut a deal with Microsoft to keep its ailing flagship alive.


Continued...
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:25 PM   #64
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Part 2



Home users
With increasing competition from Apple OS X, a lot of work is going into Longhorn to bring it up to speed. The most obvious change will be the new user interface, brought about through Aero. Right now the Longhorn releases all sport a dark grey interface, christened ‘Slate’, but this will definitely be changing before Longhorn is released. The new sidebar is designed to build on the usability enhancements brought about by the taskbar in Windows 95, and is currently a great way to keep your taskbar clear. Despite the best efforts of Windows XP to group programs together into one button, the system tray and the quick launch icons on the taskbar clutter it up. This is all being moved to the sidebar, along with new things such as the Slideshow, a much-improved clock, a PDA synchronisation tool, and potentially dozens of other third-party plug-ins. Much of ‘Slalom’ (the version of Windows Media Center that will follow on from ‘Symphony’, which itself is the version to follow on from Windows Media Center 2004) will be based on Longhorn, which means that we may be seeing some innovative uses for the sidebar by the time Longhorn finally launches – scrolling RSS news feeds, anyone? Of course, it’s questionable how much differentiation will be kept between Longhorn and Windows Media Center. Microsoft is indeed likely to import features from Media Center into the main Windows branch in order to add more “Why upgrade to Longhorn?” bulletpoints.


The addition of WinFS means that you can treat data from various programs on your systems as files you can search through. When searching for files and folders, you can also search for contacts, music by certain artists, and so on. This was one feature that was missing from the metadata functionality found in Windows XP, and is now possible thanks to the Yukon code in Longhorn. If Microsoft does get this feature nailed down and in operation for more than just My Documents, it opens up numerous possibilities. These include the ability to search for documents with very specific information, such as “Written to NatWest Bank, from me, in October”.


On the usability front, a new version of Internet Explorer (IE) is now bundled with Longhorn, and sports a newer, simplified interface. The key toolbar buttons are currently so large that some might even consider it ‘dumbed-down’. This is of course the first release of IE since Microsoft announced they would stop shipping it as a standalone package, so it’s no surprise to see that IE is wholly Longhorn-ified. There are some new features around, of which the most interesting are the new pop-up blocking tool and a download manager.


In our opinion, these are changes that are long overdue. Whether or not we’ll also see tabbed browsing in the finished release is yet to be seen, but given that all other major browsers now do it, there‘s little reason not to. The chances of DirectX Next – the successor to DirectX 9 – introducing anything interesting from a gaming perspective are fairly low. None of the cards currently on the market are even near taking full advantage of DirectX 9, with games that take full advantage being even further away. With DirectX X – as it may end up being called – pushing the envelope further, don’t expect to see many compliant games until 2007.


For developers
Longhorn heralds a new programming paradigm from Microsoft, codenamed WinFX, and encompasses a trio of core changes to the Windows programming model. Comprised primarily of Avalon; the display subsystem, Indigo; the communications layer, WinFS; and the Yukon/ SQL Server 200x-based database file system, Longhorn also incorporates a variety of other codenamed projects that are currently in production: these include ‘Whidbey’ (the .NET codename), which comes as part of the new Visual Studio .NET release, and XAML, the new declarative way to design your GUIs. While this is all great from an innovation point of view, it does mean that developers can expect to have to rewrite their applications from the ground up.


Currently we have .NET Framework 1.1. This is to be superseded next year by .NET Framework 2, currently codenamed Whidbey, which is a stepping stone to WinFX on Longhorn. Although it will be possible to run Windows Forms on Longhorn, Microsoft recommends Avalon for use on Longhorn. Mark Boulter, a Microsoft developer, said at a presentation at the Professional Developers Conference 2003 (PDC2003), “if you’re targeting Longhorn, only use Avalon. If you’re targeting multiple versions of Windows, use Windows Forms. Use adaptive techniques to get the best of both worlds”. Mr Boulter says to build applications that detect and use Longhorn features when available, “replacing Windows Forms GridView with Avalon ListView control when running on Longhorn”. We have a feeling that this is easier said than done, and that Microsoft is playing down the changes required to migrate to Longhorn.


XAML will be especially difficult. The idea behind XAML is that it splits off GUI design from the code that drives it, which is all well and good – this technology has been around in GTK and Qt for some time, and has been proven to work. This certainly has its advantages, and the abstraction means that the UI can be ported easily to other environments such as mobile phones and PDAs. It also means that professional GUI designers can take care of the application layout using tools such as Visio while programmers plug in the actual business logic behind the scenes. On the downside, this is absolutely nothing like the way Windows currently works, and is likely to throw many developers off the track. We’ve been testing XAML for about a month now, and it’s damn impressive. There’s no doubt that it will catch on, but the question is, how many developers will need to be dragged along kicking and screaming by Microsoft?


To make this as easy as they can, Microsoft has at least made the Avalon APIs somewhat interoperable with Windows Forms. To help you preserve your existing .NET 1.1 investment as you migrate your apps to Longhorn, you’ll be able to embed your existing dialogs directly inside Avalon applications. Furthermore, to help you learn how to take advantage of the new Longhorn APIs, you’ll also be able to embed Avalon inside Windows Forms applications, although this isn’t likely to be a route chosen by many developers.


It’s all coming soon
The official release date of Longhorn is 2005, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see that slip to Q2 2006, if not later. This causes a problem for customers who have to live with the prospect of no operating system (OS) upgrades for about two years, despite having been on the same OS for two years already. On the upside, this does give the industry a long time to get up-to-date. Too many machines are still running Windows 98 and Me for Microsoft’s liking, and a long break will help people at least get up to XP before Longhorn comes along.


When the announcements of Longhorn’s release date were first aired, many thought it a foregone conclusion that there must be a Windows release between XP and Longhorn. This seems increasingly unlikely, as Microsoft has committed to so many changes and upgrades in Longhorn that any interim OS release would cause more problems than it would solve. Even a Windows XP Second Edition would add to the upgrade path chaos. Instead, Microsoft’s plan seems to be to backport many Longhorn features to Windows XP in the form of service packs. XP SP2, for example, will be compiled using Visual Studio.NET Whidbey, and will incorporate new security restrictions along the same lines we’ll see in Longhorn. This will help prepare end-users and developers for the switch in 2005. Back in British Columbia, Blackcomb Way leads people away from the Longhorn Saloon, so it’s not surprising that Microsoft has codenamed the post-Longhorn release of Windows as Blackcomb. It’s not known if there’s anything planned for this release beyond its approximate 2007/2008 release date, but Microsoft rarely has less than a five-year strategy plan.




Continued...
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:26 PM   #65
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Part 3



The highlights
If you decide to make the upgrade, these top eight features provide a wealth of possibilities.

The sidebar
An extension of the task-based workflow first showcased in XP. Third-party developers will be able to write custom apps to give the sidebar helpful add-ins for you to choose from. You can also make the taskbar merge with the sidebar so that everything is together, but it’s a little cluttered right now.

WinFS
The new database extension to NTFS allows you to store custom information about each file on your hard drive. Explorer will be programmed to take full advantage of it. This will be particularly helpful in the Find dialog, where you can search for more specific information, such as Contacts.

Avalon
The new .NET-based graphics API for Longhorn that will take advantage of features found in new graphics cards. Avalon also powers Aero, and will automatically downscale effects if the hardware isn’t up to scratch.

ClickOnce
Install, update, fix, and remove software using this unique new technology available in .NET 2. It takes the best parts of web services (easy deployment, access over the web), and brings it to Windows development.

DirectX
NextGames will be taking full advantage of DirectX 9 by about Q1 2005, so Microsoft are pushing the barriers even further with the next release of their popular games API. Look for v4 of pixel and vertex shaders.

Visual Studio.NET Whidbey
Brings with it .NET v2, which takes the existing .NET system and adds to it many of Longhorn’s new features. Great for developers, and should be on sale in Q4 2004. This is the easiest way to migrate your apps to Longhorn.

NGSCB(Next Gen Secure Computing Base)
Previously known as Palladium, this Big Brother-esque technology could either be used to bring full Internet security to all users, or to take control away from the users. Only time will tell what Microsoft has planned here. However, it does require a lot of collaboration with other vendors, which may be its downfall.

Aero
The new user interface system for Longhorn that uses vectors to allow smooth scaling and warping, then renders the entire system through DirectX for maximum performance. Mac OS X continues to move quickly in the “lickably good” user interface arena, and this is Microsoft’s first salvo in return.



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Old 10-14-2004, 02:33 PM   #66
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Default Re: Windows "Longhorn" Screenshots

thanks alot!!
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Old 10-15-2004, 09:51 PM   #67
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is no one gonna check into this?
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Old 10-16-2004, 05:45 AM   #68
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Default Re: Windows "Longhorn" Screenshots

well you've pretty much got it all summed up. not much else to longhorn!! I do have a couple old vids they are on teh winsupersite if you want to look for them. they are videos of the animation of windows.

theres really not much to longhorn and they would have to really get people to be patieint enough to wait for the realease.
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Old 10-16-2004, 07:25 PM   #69
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Woah! Very thorough indeed! Even I learnt some things in there :P

Very good indeed. Made me want to get the time to install Dell's Alpha even more now - not that it will be much on the final thing.
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Old 10-16-2004, 07:54 PM   #70
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Default Re: Windows "Longhorn" Screenshots

yah install it and please post the download link!!! so I cna take it off my server!
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