Does Longhorn Even Matter?

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Microsoft

Microsoft’s Jim Allchin is out plugging "Longhorn," even though the OS isn’t expected to be released for more than another year. Apparently, not content to copy features from the Mac OS and Linux, the new MS mantra ("It just works") is also borrowed from Apple’s ad campaigns.

In the Fortune piece, Allchin brags to David Kirkpatrick about Longhorn automatically defragging your hard drive, a practice I’d forgotten about since switching to Linux as my main OS in 1999. He also brags that longhorn will display a preview of a document in the icon, something that already works for many document types in Nautilus (the GNOME file manager) and others. He boasts about new versions of Windows running on 64-bit chips, but Windows is the slow kid in the classroom on that as well — Linux has done 64-bit on x86 chips for years now, and Solaris and Mac OS X (to name just a few) have already beat Windows to the punch there as well.

Charles Cooper points out why Longhorn matters, though not in a good way for Microsoft. Basically, Allchin and company are trying to stall for time. As the world eyes Mac OS X and Linux, Microsoft is trying to keep up the hype until they can push Longhorn out the door. It’s a standard Microsoft tactic — when the competitors are releasing software that does what people want now promise something better later in the hopes of keeping customers onboard. Granted, Microsoft has inertia on its side, so it’s unlikely that Longhorn could be an Itanium-style disaster for Microsoft — but, if Microsoft doesn’t deliver, on time, it will have some negative consequences for the company.

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I refuse to be distracted...

Just so I can say this again for the (insert huge number here) time and risk boring just about everyone to death...My bagle attack via our network a while back sealed Microsoft's fate with me and my company. I can't help but chuckle at the similarities between my OS situation and an old girlfriend. I am happy now with Linux, and there is something new every day that excites me about it, but just every now and then, I catch a glimpse of Windows XP, something new or improved and can't help looking it over a bit and remembering the good times. The analogy continues to work when you decide to secretly revisit the old situation in a clandestine meeting...only to eventually re-discover the exact reasons you kicked her to the curb.

I have kicked Microsoft Windows to the curb. My attentions, energies and complete allegiance (if there is such a thing) is to Linux. Linux provided me a safe and reasonably easy alternative when I was in crisis and the people involved in my particular OS of preference, PCLinuxOS, helped me when I most needed it. That's right helios, it's ALL about you now isn't it, your needs; your wants...?

Yep, thats exactly what it's all about and Linux has catered to that. Microsoft left millions of people hanging for weeks and months at a time with unpatched vulnerabilities and unanswered questions about security issues. Issues reported by a handful of companies who keep an eye on that sort of thing, and only when the uproar got loud enough did MS admit the problem and work out a solution. All of the above just to say: I don't care what Microsoft does anymore. Furthermore, I wield my self-proclaimed ambassador-ship at every opporutinity. Not only is Linux becoming a better solution on the server side, Linux is going to mess around and find themselves a viable alternative to XP on the desktop. Now it's up to the developers to make it so.

helios

"Telling a drug addict to just say no is like telling a manic depressive to just cheer up" - Abby Hoffman, God Rest Him

re: I refuse to be distracted...

Wonderful commentary. Security issues were the deciding factor, I'd almost say the primary factor, in my switching to Linux almost 5 years ago as well. You make a very good point mentioning M$' delay in releasing updates and fixes. It's always been so. But what's worse is when they finally do, they can and do break many of the system on which they are applied. It's just unreal. I've been thankful to the Linux community since the beginning. I've never looked back tho. None of the fancy do-dads people write tempt me. To draw upon your analogy, I feel about M$ as the boyfriend who betrayed you again after you forgave him the first time - and I never, never would put myself in that position again. I wouldn't miss it in the least if it just disappeared off the face of the earth. In fact I'd probably rejoice.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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