Microsoft Pegs 2006 for Longhorn Debut

Microsoft announced it will target broad availability of the Windows client operating system codenamed “Longhorn” in 2006, and make key elements of the Windows WinFX developer platform, which Longhorn provides, available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft said Longhorn will deliver major improvements in user productivity, important new capabilities for software developers, and significant advancements in security, deployment and reliability.

“Getting ‘Longhorn’ to customers in 2006 will provide important advances in performance, security and reliability, and will help accelerate the creation of exciting new applications by developers across the industry,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft.

Microsoft will deliver a Windows storage subsystem, codenamed “WinFS,” after the Longhorn release. The new storage system provides advanced data organization and management capabilities and will be in beta testing when the Longhorn client becomes available.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from customers that they want improved productivity, easier deployment, increased reliability and enhanced security, as well as the many innovations we’ve been working on. We’ve had to make some trade-offs to deliver the features corporate customers, consumers and OEMs are asking for in a reasonable time frame,” said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. “Our long-term vision for the Windows platform remains the same.

At a meeting today with several hundred of the company’s top developer evangelists from around the world, Microsoft also announced that the Windows WinFX developer technologies, including the new presentation subsystem codenamed “Avalon” and the new communication subsystem codenamed “Indigo,” will be made available for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in 2006.

“‘Avalon’ and ‘Indigo’ will allow us to build some exciting applications for our design and life-cycle management customers. Making ‘Avalon’ and ‘Indigo’ available on Windows XP as well as ‘Longhorn’ will allow us to think about exploiting these technologies sooner,” said Scott Borduin, chief technology officer of Autodesk.

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