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They're going to eliminate certain key components, most notably WinFS (the new file system) in order to meet the new ship date. WinFS was a major "selling point" behind Longhorn. From the CNet article, a lot of the other improvements sound like so much hot air and marketing mumbo jumbo.
Mark 2006 in your calendars, and let's just see if this turns into vaporware of a level rarely seen outside the gaming industry.
Wired Article [wired.com]
CNet News [news.com.com] (a much more in depth article)
Dunno how I missed this on Friday.
Oh! Wait! Yes I do, dang home reno is eating up my life. No time for geeking.
most notably WinFS (the new file system)
Yeah I remember reading about same thing under different name scheduled to be released in Cairo and I was reading about that in early 90s ;)
Personally I think the most important thing Short-horn will do is getting .NET on every desktop - Microsoft is really dragging its feet with the framework that is not as common as those who program in it would like to see.
I don't see why they just don't include SQL Desktop Engine as part of the OS
Its too heavy for a filesystem - one does not need to get SQL server to gain full-text search capabilities. My view is that they do not include filesystem based on SQL server due to performance reasons.
Microsoft appears to be moving strongly in direction of managed code (.NET), this is good as its a good clean start, and it will also make code more portable to other OSes that run Mono.
I endorse Microsoft's position on keeping support for another industry stadard (OpenGL) as an intergrated part of Longhorn.
I am not so sure about OpenGL - Microsoft did not spent so much money to establish successful DirectX only to support OpenGL. IMHO had it not been to Carmack then OpenGL would have been mothballed (sp?) on Windows systems as Microsoft is not exactly known for supplying oxygen to compatitor's software.
Worse, there are reasons not to upgrade. I'm not keen on the system initially called Palladium that controls what hardware and software will run.
 In the eyes of the average home computer buyer
 After all, many people are still on 98, and even 95.
 Sorry, forget the new name for it