In an exclusive interview with News.com
today, Jim Allchin, VP of Microsoft's Platform Group, clarified the
Windows strategy through the Longhorn release. Unlike some other news today,
this one is definitely not an April Fool's joke.
Microsoft had said it planned to ship the test version of Longhorn, a major
update to the company's Windows operating system, this summer. The company has
reassigned a large number of developers working on Longhorn to build updates
to the existing versions of Windows to bolster security, said Jim Allchin,
vice president of Microsoft's platforms group.
Asked whether the company would make its self-imposed deadline for
delivering a Longhorn beta by summer, Allchin said, "I don't believe it will
be this year." He also said that some minor features planned for Longhorn will
be cut to accelerate development, then rolled into a future Windows release.
"If we don't really know how to do something by now, it's probably time that
we think about not putting it into the product," Allchin said.
Underscoring the growing pressure from customers, the company has made the
security of Windows its top priority. New security features are planned for
updates, or service packs, for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 debuting
later this year, Allchin said. Microsoft plans to ship Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) by summer, and
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 in the second half of the year. Allchin
also said that, despite speculation, there will be no interim releases of
Windows before Longhorn. A rumored update to Windows, called XP Reloaded, is
just a bundling of existing features and tools intended to drive greater
adoption of Windows XP, he said.
Finally, some much needed clarification on where Windows is headed. I was
pretty sure that the XP Reloaded rumors were misinterpreted, but it's good to
see all that finally put to rest. Hopefully we'll get an even clearer picture at
the MVP Summit next week. Read more
about the Windows Timeline here.