Confessions of a Longhorn User

A Computer Says 'Mooooooo!'

August 2004 - Posts

  • Microsoft needs to accentuate the positive with Longhorn

    Filed under:

    Ok, so by now we've all heard about the changes with Longhorn (Avalon and Indigo and WinFS, oh my!).

    Some people dig it, others hate it.  That's nothing new for Microsoft, really.  Whether it was a good decision or not is irrelevant at this point, so I'm not going to go into that right now.  There is something else I'd like to talk about with regards to this issue:  the seemingly common misconception that all Longhorn is/was was XP + Avalon + Indigo + WinFS.

    I've heard (er... read) lots of people say that there's no reason to upgrade to Longhorn now, since Avalon and Indigo will be available on XP and 2k3, and WinFS won't ship until Later On(tm).  And that misconception is, IMHO, sort of Microsoft's fault.

    The Longhorn pool that we've been wading in since the PDC has primarily been all about developers (insert Steve Balmer joke here), which makes since.  The PDC is geared toward developers.  So is WinHEC... sort of (hardware devs are still devs).  I don't blame Microsoft for this.  If you don't have developers behind you when you roll out a new technology like those introduced at the PDC, you're pretty dead.  So all we've heard about with respect to Longhorn for the last 10 months is 'developers, developers, developers'.  That's great, but that's why people think there's nothing more to Longhorn than what was mentioned at the PDC and WinHEC. 

    I know Longhorn won't be out until 2006, and there's plenty of time to start getting people excited about the non-developer related features in it, but I'd like to see some of that information start coming out of Microsoft now.  This is what I blame Microsoft for.  I've seen at least 10 different employee blogs that were essentially a carbon copy of the press release last Friday.  Sorry guys, I'm not interested.  I already read that - move on.  Why concentrate on the things that were just pulled / altered?  Why not talk about all the cool stuff that's still going to be there?  Talk about the new manageability features.  Talk about the new deployment story.  Talk about... hell, anything.  Just talk about it. 

    There's more to Longhorn than a presentation layer, a message-bus and a database.  I'd like to hear what else Microsoft has planned for Longhorn, besides the developer features.  As an IT Professional, why will I want to make a case for deploying it where I work?  As a home user, why will I want to run it at home, and why would I recommend it to my friends and parents? 

    Microsoft, you lifted the veil off the developer bits at the PDC, and you got the developers' attention.  Now how about a little action for everyone else?

    Originally posted at