Windows Longhorn Postponed Yet Again

by , 10:00 AM EDT, September 2nd, 2003

First expected to be released in 2004, then pushed back until some time in 2005, Windows Longhorn has now been pushed back further, but Microsoft has declined to give an expected ship date, according to eWeek. Longhorn, the version of Windows set to follow XP, has been described by Bill Gates and other Microsoft executives as Microsoft's "most revolutionary operating system to date."

At next month's Professional Developer's Conference in Los Angeles, California, Microsoft is expected to hand out Longhorn developer preview discs, followed by a beta of the new operating system next year. From eWeek:

Microsoft Corp. has once again shifted the schedule for the release of "Longhorn," the company's next major version of Windows, leaving some users up in the air about an upgrade path.

Microsoft executives from Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on down have long described Longhorn as the Redmond, Wash., company's most revolutionary operating system to date. The product was originally expected to ship next year. Then in May of this year, officials pushed back the release date to 2005. But now executives are declining to say when they expect the software to ship.

"We do not yet know the time frame for Longhorn, but it will involve a lot of innovative and exciting work," said Gates at a company financial analyst meeting this summer. Since then, other Microsoft officials have neither retracted nor clarified Gates' statement.

You can read the full article at eWeek's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Our optimistic side says that Microsoft is spending all of this extra time to make the next version of Windows secure, stable, fast, and easy to use. Unfortunately, our realistic side is pointing and laughing at our optimistic side. It's more likely that the next version of Windows will be more integrated, proprietary, closed, bloated, and just as insecure, which is unfortunate, considering all of the funds and programmers that Microsoft could throw at the Windows project to make it lean, mean, secure, and an absolute joy to use.

That said, if Windows Longhorn isn't released until some time in 2006, the delay between XP and Longhorn will be the longest in Microsoft history, beating out even the three and a half years between Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. How will Microsoft manage to keep Windows XP, which was released in 2001, on the leading edge in the eyes of consumers for over four years, while simultaneously fighting off the growing threats known as Linux and Mac OS X? It will be an interesting few years, that's for sure.