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Encyclopedia > Windows Longhorn
Current event marker This article or section contains information about scheduled or expected future product(s).
It is likely to contain information of a speculative nature and the content may change dramatically as the product release approaches and more information becomes available.

Longhorn is Microsoft's codename (for a full list see Microsoft codenames) for the next version of its Windows operating system, to follow on from Windows XP SP3 [1] and Windows Server 2003. It was originally expected to ship sometime early in 2006 as a minor step between Whistler and Windows Blackcomb (Longhorn is a name of a sports bar at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort). It has been leaked the release name will be Windows Vista. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Windows Longhorn logo [[Image: File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT) headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. ... A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. ... There have been various Microsoft codenames that they have used to refer to its products before their final release. ... Microsoft Windows is a range of operating environments for personal computers and servers. ... In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... As of 2005, Windows XP is the current desktop version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... The successor to Windows 2000 Server, Microsofts Windows Server 2003 (codename Whistler Server, also known as Windows NT 5. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... As of 2005, Windows XP is the current desktop version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... Windows Blackcomb is the code name for the successor to Microsoft Windows Server 2003, announced in February 2000. ... Tourists sit outside a bar in Chiang Mai, Thailand A bar is an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold to be drunk on premises. ... Whistler-Blackcomb is a ski resort located in Whistler, British Columbia which comprises a village with several large hotels, eateries and bars, condominiums, and expensive homes. ... A ski area is a place where one goes to participate in the sports of skiing and snowboarding. ...


Gradually, Longhorn assimilated many important new features and technologies of Blackcomb. On August 27, 2004, Microsoft announced that they are delaying release of WinFS so that Longhorn could be released in "a reasonable timeframe" (officially marked as December of 2006). Two beta versions have been planned, the first expected to debut in Q2 2005 and the second in Q4 2005, with release candidates to be released throughout 2006. August 27 is the 239th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (240th in leap years), with 126 days remaining. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In computing, WinFS is a file system being developed by Microsoft for use on its Windows operating system. ... December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In software engineering, development stage terminology expresses how far through the development sequence things have progressed and how much further development a product may require. ... In software engineering, development stage terminology expresses how far through the development sequence things have progressed and how much further development a product may require. ...


Longhorn is currently available as a preview release available to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers, and at select Microsoft developer conferences. The preview release is classified as an alpha version at the moment, and as such its performance and feature sets are not representative of the release product. Like many other products (including all Windows releases since 98), it has since been leaked onto popular file sharing networks. The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is an information service provided by Microsoft for software developers. ... In software engineering, development stage terminology expresses how far through the development sequence things have progressed and how much further development a product may require. ... File sharing is the activity of making files available to other users for download over the Internet, but also over smaller networks. ...

Contents


Technologies

Microsoft labels the key new technologies as "The Pillars of Longhorn", which are:

It is worth noting that Avalon, Indigo, and WinFX are technologies that will be made available to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well, and are therefore not technologies to be exclusive to Longhorn, but rather developed in time for the Longhorn release, to be incorporated in that operating system. This doesn't imply coming visual changes to these operating systems though, as Aero will still be exclusive to Longhorn. The reason for backporting these technologies is to allow an easier introduction to these technologies to developers and end users. Microsoft . ... Digital Rights Management (DRM)1 is an umbrella term referring to any of several technical methods used to control or restrict the use of digital media content on electronic devices with such technologies installed. ... ClickOnce is a new application deployment technology that makes deploying a Windows Forms based application as easy as deploying a web application. ... Trusted computing is a term coined by the TCPA referring to the goal of their family of open specifications to make computers more secure through the use of dedicated hardware. ... Avalon is the graphical subsystem feature included in Longhorn, the next version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... The user interface is the part of a system exposed to users. ... API with 3 clients, using the Unified Modeling Language notation An application programming interface (API) is a set of definitions of the ways one piece of computer software communicates with another. ... The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a W3C-recommended general-purpose markup language for creating special-purpose markup languages. ... Steam Locomotive 7646 as a vector, originally Windows Metafile (converted to GIF for display on Wikipedia page. ... The rewrite of this article is being devised at Talk:3D computer graphics/Temp. ... Direct3D is part of Microsofts DirectX API. Direct3D is only for use in Microsofts various Windows operating systems (Windows 95 and above) and, although in a quite different version, in the Xbox. ... The Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF) is the next version of Microsofts DirectX application programming interface (API). ... Indigo is a set of . ... In computing, WinFX is a set of managed APIs that Microsoft will introduce in its upcoming operating system, Windows Vista. ... Windows API is a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... As of 2005, Windows XP is the current desktop version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... The successor to Windows 2000 Server, Microsofts Windows Server 2003 (codename Whistler Server, also known as Windows NT 5. ... Backporting is the action of taking a certain software modification (patch) and applying it to an older version of the software than it was initially created for. ...


On March 26th Microsoft released a Community Preview featuring both Avalon and Indigo to enable developers to experiment with the new technologies without running the Alpha version of Longhorn. Due to many requests it was released to the general public and is available at Microsoft's website [2].


Features

Additionally, Longhorn will include many other new features.


Aero

Longhorn will include a completely re-designed user interface, code-named Aero. The new interface is intended to be cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing than previous Windows interfaces. The most visible addition to the interface is the sidebar, an area at the side of the screen consisting of tiles which display dynamic information about whatever window is currently in the foreground, which is essentially an extension of the "system tray" on the Windows task bar. Note that the sidebar had been removed as part of the WinHEC 2005 release (Build 5048). In computing, the task bar is a term for an application desktop bar which is most often used for the Windows 95 and later operating systems. ...


Search

Longhorn will feature a new search engine that will allow for instant display of results for a given search. This is in contrast to the search engine of Windows XP, which can take several minutes to display results. The Longhorn search will allow you to add multiple filters to continually refine your search (Such as "File contains the word 'example'"). There will also be saved searches that will act as Virtual Folders, where opening a folder will execute a specific search automatically and display the results as a normal folder. The search will also feature other usability improvements. The Longhorn search is actually built on an expanded and improved version of the indexing service for the search in Windows XP.


Metro

Metro is the codename for Microsoft's next generation document format, which is based on XML. It is similar in many ways to Adobe Systems' PDF. Metro is intended to allow users to view, print, and archive files without the original program that created it. The name Metro also refers to the print path in Longhorn. With Metro, documents can remain in the same format from the time they are created to the time they are printed. Microsoft states that Metro will provide better fidelity to the original document by using a consistent format for both screen and print output. Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a computer software company headquartered in San Jose, California that was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke. ... Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing documents in a manner that is independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create those documents. ...


While many analysts suspect Metro is intended to be a "PDF-killer," Microsoft insists that they are not attempting to duplicate all the functionality of the PDF. For example, at the time of this writing, Metro is not planned to have the capabilities for dynamic documents.


Other Features

  • Full support for the "NX" (No-Execute) feature of processors. This feature, present in AMD's AMD64 architecture, as well as Intel's EM64T Architecture, can flag certain parts of memory as containing data instead of executable code, which prevents overflow errors from resulting in arbitrary code execution. This should not be confused with trusted computing facilities provided by a so-called Fritz-chip.
  • Built-in DVD recording capabilities, including Mt. Rainier support.
  • A new installation program that will install Longhorn in about 15 minutes (which is present in alpha build 4074 of Windows Longhorn).
  • Native Raw Image support (As used by most digital cameras).
  • Native, embedded RSS support, with developer API.
  • A new level of file encryption support from that available in Windows XP, which will make it easier and more automatic to prevent unauthorized viewing of files on stolen laptops/hard drives. See Secure Startup Encryption
  • Monad. A new command-line interface called MSH, and codenamed Monad will not be fully implemented in Longhorn, but will exist in it to some extent. It plans to combine the Unix pipes and filters philosophy with that of object-oriented programming.
  • The "My" prefixes will be dropped, so "My Documents" will just be "Documents", "My Computer" will just be "Computer", etc.
  • Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSat), a built in benchmarking tool which analyzes the different subsystems (graphics, memory, etc), and uses the results to allow for comparison to other Longhorn systems, and for software optimizations. The optimizations can be made by both windows and third-party software. Tom's Hardware Overview
  • File Virtualization, when an individual program's permissions are restricted, allows that program to use its own 'fake' set of certain files so modifications to those files from said program does not alter the original files.
  • Transactional File Transfers, prevents a half updated set of files from being created during updates for example, which can cause stability problems.

NX stands for No eXecute. ... Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ... The AMD64 or x86-64 or x64 is a 64-bit processor architecture invented by AMD. It is a superset of the x86 architecture, which it natively supports. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) (founded 1968) is a U.S.-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Extended Memory 64-bit Technology (EM64T) is Intels implementation of AMD64, a 64-bit extension to the IA-32 architecture. ... Trusted computing is a term coined by the TCPA referring to the goal of their family of open specifications to make computers more secure through the use of dedicated hardware. ... The Fritz-chip is a nickname for the hardware component of a software-execution monitoring system. ... DVD is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for storing data, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... Mount Rainier is an expansion to the Universal Disk Format (UDF). ... MSH, or Microsoft Command Shell, is a command line interface and scripting language being developed by Microsoft. ... A command line interface or CLI is a method of interacting with a computer by giving it lines of textual commands (that is, a sequence of characters) either from keyboard input or from a script. ... MSH, or Microsoft Command Shell, is a command line interface and scripting language being developed by Microsoft. ... In software engineering, a pipeline consisting of chain of processes or other data processing entities, arranged so that the output of each element of the chain is the input of the of the next one. ... In computer science, object-oriented programming, OOP for short, is a computer programming paradigm. ...

Technologies/Features Delayed until future release

  • WinFS (short for either Windows Future Storage or Windows File System): a combined relational database and filesystem, based on the next version of SQL Server (codenamed Yukon). Working on top of NTFS, it will provide abilities to represent objects and their relationships, rather than just a hierarchy of files and folders. The removal of WinFS from Windows Longhorn was announced in August 2004, and is expected to be released as an update to Longhorn, entering beta stages at about the same time as Longhorn is released, but also will be ported to Windows XP to help end users along with the transition phase to Longhorn. Microsoft's promotion of this technology has spurred the recent trend towards desktop search tools.
  • Full implementation of Monad.

In computing, WinFS is a file system being developed by Microsoft for use on its Windows operating system. ... A relational database is a database based on the relational model. ... See Filing system for this term as it is used in libraries and offices In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ... Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system produced by Microsoft. ... NTFS or New Technology File System is the standard file system of Windows NT and its descendants Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. ... Desktop search is the name for the emerging field of search tools which search the contents of a users own computer files, rather than searching the Internet. ... MSH, or Microsoft Command Shell, is a command line interface and scripting language being developed by Microsoft. ...

Graphics hardware requirements

Longhorn's graphics requirements are defined in relation to the different desktop experiences.


Aero Glass

This graphics mode adds support for 3D graphics, animation and visual special effects in addition to the features offered by Aero Express.

  • Intended for mainstream and high-end graphics cards.
  • At least 64 MB of graphics memory, 128 MB recommended, or 256 MB for 1600x1200+.
  • At least 32 bits per pixel.
  • 3D hardware acceleration with capabilities equal to DirectX 9.
  • A memory bandwidth of 2 GB / second.
  • Capable of drawing ~1.5M triangles / second, one window being ~150 triangles.
  • A graphics card that uses AGP 4X or PCI Express 8-lane bus.

It is likely that such a configuration will be entry-level or lower by Longhorn's release in 2006. Color depth is a computer graphics term describing the number of bits used to represent the color of a single pixel in a bitmapped image or video frame buffer. ... The current official DirectX logo. ...


Aero Diamond

A graphics mode customized for the Longhorn Media Center Edition, and will not be made available in the other editions. Not much information is currently available, but it appears that it will be the most advanced level of graphics in Longhorn, requiring hardware at the same level or greater than the Aero Glass visual style.


Aero Express

The lesser Aero visual experience offering only the basic visual improvements introduced by Longhorn, such as composition based DPI scaling.

  • Intended for mainstream or lower-end graphics cards.
  • Uses the Avalon Desktop Composition window manager.
  • A Longhorn Driver Display Model (LDDM) driver is a requirement.
 --> Some graphics cards already support LDDM. In some Longhorn builds (4074, 5048) LDDM is already supported to run Aero Glass. 

To Go

The new Longhorn look & feel without any visual special effects, similar to the visual style Luna of Windows XP in that it resembles merely an application skin. As with Luna, no additional hardware requirements compared to the classic Windows interface. In computing, skins and themes are custom graphical appearances (GUIs) that can be applied to certain software and websites in order to suit the different tastes of different users. ...

  • A simple option for consumer upgrades, and mobile / low-cost devices.
  • No additional requirements compared to the lesser Classic mode.
  • Fallback mode in case the hardware requirements for Aero aren't met.

Classic

The most basic user interface offered by Longhorn, which is also seen in Windows 2000, or Windows XP with its visual style Luna deactivated. Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K, W2K or Windows NT 5. ... As of 2005, Windows XP is the current desktop version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ...

  • An option for corporate deployments and upgrades.
  • Requires Windows XP Display Driver Model (XPDM) or LDDM drivers.
  • No graphics card hardware requirements exceeding those of Windows XP.

References

External links

  • Microsoft Longhorn Developer Center -- Developer information on Longhorn at MSDN.
    • The Pillars of Longhorn
    • Microsoft WinFX SDK -- Documentation of the Longhorn APIs made public so far at MSDN.
  • Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows -- Detailed information regarding Longhorn, including screenshots.
    • PDC 2003 Section -- Information regarding Longhorn build 4051, released at PDC 2003.
  • GUIdebook: Windows Longhorn Gallery - A website dedicated to preserving and showcasing Graphical User Interfaces
  • Longhorn Blogs -- Non-corporate, community-based initiative of Microsoft's next version of Windows
  • Longhorn Buzz -- Non-corporate, community-based forums dedicated to Microsoft's next version of Windows
  • Longhorn News -- Non-corporate, community-based news site, dedicated to Longhorn news.
    • Gallery Section -- Screenshots from development versions of Longhorn.


The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is an information service provided by Microsoft for software developers. ... The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is an information service provided by Microsoft for software developers. ...

History of Microsoft Windows
Windows: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.x | NT | 95 | 98 | Me | 2000 | XP | Server 2003 | CE | Mobile | Longhorn | Blackcomb

  Results from FactBites:
 
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Longhorn Alpha Preview 3: Build 4015 (3590 words)
Longhorn 4015 includes a new boot screen (Figure) and a new first boot screen similar to what you see in XP (Figure).
Longhorn's new Welcome screen is a combination of the full-screen approach used in XP and the logon window seen in previous Windows versions (Figure).
Longhorn let me configure the hours in which he could logon to and use the system using a grid (Figure) and determine which games he could play using the industry standard ESRB game rating system (Figure), which is similar to the rating system used by movies.
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: The Road to Windows Longhorn 2003 (6719 words)
Windows then composes the desktop on every frame using these back buffers, and effects are applied to some windows where appropriate; these effects include, but are not limited to transparency, 3D transforms, and visual effects like re-coloring (which will be nice for the high contrast modes used for accessibility).
In the infamous windows transition effect demo, in which a window being dragged across the screen visually resembles a curtain moving around in the breeze (Figure), Hammil showed off how windows could be arbitrarily animated.
Longhorn, like previous Windows versions, is the result of work from many teams at the software giant, and as is so often the case, much of that work isn't melded into the main builds until it's reached a certain level of stability and functionality.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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