Longhorn getting its horns cut?

Longhorn getting its horns cut?.

BusinessWeek: How Microsoft is clipping Longhorn.

Ahh, lots of stuff here. And my IM is going crazy as people all over the world react to this news and ask me for more information. Everyone wants to know “is WinFS really getting cut?”

Answer: no and yes.

The past three months have been very tough on the Longhorn team. Why? Well, you have to look at the stages of developing a product. Right now we're in the “moving from a dream to a real product” stage. Dreams are always more fantastic than what you can possibly ship in the next 500 working days or so. Plus, at the PDC we showed our plans to you and you told us what's really important to do in Longhorn. In some cases that didn't match up to our assumptions. That, and execs, investors, and customers are telling us “ship ship ship ship.” So, we focused for the past few months on “what will it take to ship in a reasonable amount of time?”

Whenever you design a software product (whether it's Radio UserLand, or Microsoft Windows) at some point you move from dreaming about what you'd like to do to actually working on implementing.

I've been watching WinFS, for instance. It is one of the most important features in Longhorn. But their ideas were too big to ship in the next 500 working days. So, they needed to cut back the dream a bit.

Now, why don't I just tell you how much it's getting cut back? Well, I'm still trying to figure it out. It's still a process that's in flux. I don't want to set expectations that might change later.

Actually, this is one reason we showed Longhorn off so early. The PDC attendees and others in the Longhorn newsgroups told us what's important to do. That feedback is being used in a big way to help the teams decide what goes in and what gets pushed off to a future release.

On Channel9 we'll take you inside the various Longhorn teams to get you a view into this process and ask the tough questions about what Longhorn will look like when it's done.

Anyway, the real story hasn't been written yet on Longhorn. It's a bumpy ride right now. Fasten your seatbelts as we go through this turbulent stage. I'm sure there'll be even more stories that'll come soon about things that are happening on Longhorn.

Oh, one other thing, Longhorn is a wave of products, not just one thing. I can't talk too much about that right now, but there are many different versions of Longhorn. Client. Server. Tablet. And maybe even more.

Actually, Joe Wilcox, of Microsoft Monitor, is right. Let's all focus on Windows XP Service Pack 2. That's something major that's going to ship this summer. Why is it important? Well, look at the latest virus problem to go around. If everyone had XPSP2 it wouldn't be a problem at all. We need help testing XPSP2, finding the bugs, fixing them, and informing users about what's good and bad in XPSP2. All the rest of this stuff is interesting drama, but won't affect any of our lives until next year at the earliest.  [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]

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