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Microsoft

A Quick Peek at Longhorn 521

Kaypro writes: "The Register has an interesting article with some minor details regarding Microsoft's next OS. P2P, filesystem plugins and some thoughts from Hans Reiser, of ReiserFS fame make for an interesting read."
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A Quick Peek at Longhorn

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  • Thanks MS (Score:3, Troll)

    by NiftyNews ( 537829 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:06PM (#2920307) Homepage
    "The final feature set for Longhorn - the codename for the successor to Windows XP - hasn't been nailed down yet, and the database core had been rumored for inclusion in Blackcomb, the next Windows after Longhorn. "

    In a nutshell, they are currently deciding how exactly to make the new one obsolete...before they release the new one.

    That's marketing at it's finest! :)
    • Sounds more like "thinking about the long term," which in my experience eliminates any possible involvement by marketing.
    • Re:Thanks MS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SerpicoWasTaken ( 552937 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:05PM (#2920649)
      I don't know. Don't people like Intel and Motorola have product strategy maps for their next two or three processor revisions. It doesn't seem like a "marketing" thing. Not to defend MS or anything, just saying I don't think this is something that is not done elsewhere in the business world. I guess I think it is kind of a cheap shot.
      • Don't people like Intel and Motorola have product strategy maps for their next two or three processor revisions.

        Interesting tidbit - I once read that Mitsubishi actually has a business plan for the next 200 years!!!
  • Scary future ahead (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tapiwa ( 52055 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:09PM (#2920328) Homepage
    P2P at the filesystem level!

    Couple that with MicroSoft's security trackhistory, and possible T1 pipes in every home in a few years, and I see virii mailing entire directories of data.

    Scary thought huh??
    • What I don't seem to understand is that Microsoft, a major player in the copyright industry could support P2P on any level, unless your trackhistory sytem could catch offenders in the act.
      • by Alexander ( 8916 )
        Actually, that one's pretty easy. Intel wants p2p to be big, too. Why? Because they want people to buy bigger and badder PCs. You'll need all that OS/hard drive/Processor to do p2p computing.

        At some point someone might just make an actual "thin client" because traditional Interent applications (email, browsing, etc.) and many business functions can be light client/heavy server apps. These apps don't need big Pentium 6's running at 10 ghz. They also don't need a 2 GB OS. So P2P is a PC "killer app". The sooner client/server computing is moved towards p2p in terms of horsepower, the better for the Duopoly.
    • Um, nothing stops a virus from e-mailing directories right now. Of course, I could point out that nothing stops a Linux virus e-mailing your directories, either.

      P.S. Once again, it must be pointed out that virii is not a word (and actually makes no sense linguistically).

      • Of course, I could point out that nothing stops a Linux virus e-mailing your directories, either.


        There are many hurdles to a Linux Virus:

        1) Mircosoft programers aren't smart enough to make a Linux virus. Unix programmers are too busy making money, driving fast cars and picking up the babes to bother maing a virus.

        2) Any Linux virus would have to come with it's own libraries, or at least come in a SuSE and Red Hat Version.
        3) GNU/Virus doesent have a good ring to it.

        4) The BSD Ports system would make any Linux virus delivery system obsolete.

        5) There is no version of Outlook for Linux.

        6) A Linux virus coulden't statically link to some libraries - it might violate the GPL and we couldent have that.

        7) Linux users don't have many contacts in their address books, due to their bathing habits.
        • 1) ...Unix programmers are too busy making money, driving fast cars and picking up the babes to bother maing a virus.

          7) Linux users don't have many contacts in their address books, due to their bathing habits.

          Lucky thing that Linux isn't Unix eh? Oh yeah, this red hat box... that's running some kind of Unix... oh yeah, definitely... not sure which exactly, but it's definitely not Linux. My bath works fine thank you.
  • Pluging FS (Score:3, Informative)

    by headhot ( 137860 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:09PM (#2920329) Homepage
    95 included a plugin fs, but no one did anyting with it...
    • Re:Pluging FS (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Fishstick ( 150821 )
      Oh yeah, wasn't there a way to get ntfs support?

      or is this something different [sysinternals.com]?
  • P2P eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Second_Derivative ( 257815 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:10PM (#2920341)
    So what kind of DRM-shackled kernel-integrated, msn.com centric peer to peer might that be? ;)
  • Proc suport (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr.Intel ( 165870 )
    I bet they still won't support my PPC proc and mobo! Damn Microsoft bastards!
  • P2P? (Score:4, Troll)

    by niola ( 74324 ) <jon@niola.net> on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:14PM (#2920365) Homepage
    LOL, Windows XP is already peer-to-peer, though inadverently :)

    Seriously though, they do need to make some drastic changes to the OS. Any OS that is going to be used by 90% of Americans needs to be more reliable. Nothing worse then having to be tech support because you are the only one in the family that can figure it out.

    The move has antitrust implications: it potentially puts Microsoft at an advantage over Oracle and other competing SQL implementations every copy of Windows will effectively come with a light version of Microsoft SQL Server.

    Ahh, now I see. I can just see the high-ups at Microsoft, "Hey, we can't make an RDBMS as good as Oracle or IBM's, so let's make our OS one, then when people run SQL Server on it it will be like 10 times faster, and SQL Server will capture the high-end database market."

    I hope many of you submitted feedback for the Tunney act before yesterday's deadline or we will see a lot more anti-competitive behavior over the next year.

    --Jon
    • Oracle is big and mean enough that they could crush Windows for such a move if they had a case. Don't think Larry isn't salivating at that possibility. He might be an ass, but he doesn't like Bill. Or so I hear.
      • Oracle is big and mean enough that they could crush Windows for such a move if they had a case. Don't think Larry isn't salivating at that possibility. He might be an ass, but he doesn't like Bill. Or so I hear.

        Yeah, Oracle's DB pounds the hell out of anything MS makes, BUT, Oracle does not have the market leverage that Microsoft does. When you have a monopoly like Microsoft admittedly has, superior quality doesn't go as far as superior market share.

        Remember when Microsoft wanted to get into the enterprise DB game? What did they do? They went out and bought the rights to SQL Server from Sybase.

        Last I heard Microsoft had something like $36 BILLION in their "war chest" so if something gets in their way, they can either by it, or by some thorns in its side.

        Don't ever underestimate the determination of a monopoly :)

        --Jon
    • Ahh, now I see. I can just see the high-ups at Microsoft, "Hey, we can't make an RDBMS as good as Oracle or IBM's, so let's make our OS one, then when people run SQL Server on it it will be like 10 times faster, and SQL Server will capture the high-end database market."

      Actually, I think windows _NEEDS_ a decent database at the OS level.

      At the moment, just about all MS products that need a database (DHCP, WINS, etc) uses a JET .mdb format (I beleive even exchange 5.5 used a JET based format?); As well as that, there are a ton of third party appliations that make use of JET based databases.

      Anyone that's delt with large JET based databases will know that they suck!

      IMO it would be much better to have a good quality RDBMs provided as a service by the O/S, insted of all these shitty little JET databases distributed across your computer.

      After all, isn't this what an OS is all about? Providing underlying system services

    • Re:P2P? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Pfhreakaz0id ( 82141 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:58PM (#2921045)
      Yeah, SQL Server really sucks [tpc.org] (NOTE: SARCASM INTENDED).
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:15PM (#2920369) Homepage Journal
    Should we be discussing:
    • A.) How bad MS is, and how we hate it and everything they do.
    • B.) How MS users are inferior and shouldn't be played by MS.
    • C.) The intricacy of this new idea, and how linux can compete, or use the ideas they bring forward
    I guess it all comes down to whether you see MS as an 'enemy' or a competitor. Linus sees it as a competitor, respects them, and makes sure his OS can compete with them. He never really derails them or has an elitist attitude. Maybe we should follow suit, here?
    • Re:Quick Question... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:18PM (#2920385) Journal
      Linus sees it as a competitor, respects them,

      I guess you'd like to think that, and it sounds good and fits into you message well, but Linus has repeatedly said he doesn't care one bit what Redmond is doing, and isn't even familiar with a lot of the newer features in their OS. His singular goal is to make Linux better than Linux, not better than anything MS makes.
    • Linus doesn't see microsoft as a compepetitor, hes said that numerous times. Linux is for linus thats it. He does't care who uses it, he isn't make a system to rival microsoft... hes making a system that he likes. People really need to seperate the distribututions beliefs from linus's because they are different. Now mandrake or Redhat, yeah maybe they see Microsoft as a rival... but definitly not Linus. I mean think about it. Linus does the kernel... and Kernels really aren't a rivalry thing becaues by themselves they aren't really that big of a deal. They need a full system around them, which linus really has nothing to do with and has said many times.
      • Linus doesn't see microsoft as a compepetitor, hes said that numerous times. Linux is for linus thats it. He does't care who uses it, he isn't make a system to rival microsoft... hes making a system that he likes

        I find this statement hard to believe. I believe it was true up to maybe kernel 2.0.x, when generally used workstation features and functionality were being added. At its current state, there's so much in the kernel that Linus doesn't need or can't use its hard for me to believe that he's doing it to make something he personally likes (which implies personally uses/needs). And this is just kernel features. Development effort and coordination (see today's other story on Linus scalability) has got to be a major timesink as well, way beyond the "for me personally" stage.

        I can only conclude that further development and complexity in the kernel must serve some other need -- it may not be direct competition with MS, but it certainly can't just be because Linus personally likes it. It makes for a high-minded "ars gratia artis" kind of statement, but it also is kind of hard to swallow.
    • by DrCode ( 95839 )
      How does Microsoft see the rest of the software world? By their actions, I believe they see their competitors, including Free Software, as enemies, which they either need to buy or destroy.
  • by Aexia ( 517457 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:16PM (#2920373)
    A shared namespace would allow distributed corporate queries such as 'Find emails from Bob to Carole about ProjectX in FacilityY'.

    Just think if this were extended to the whole Internet!

    "Find pr0n featuring Traci Lord with two men wearing spandex."
    "Find l33t games with midgets in Iowa."
    "Find ripped versions of Longhorn Windows."

    • Find pr0n featuring Bill Gates with two midgets wearing ripped spandex...
    • Yes, it could be good, since Hans Reiser makes the point of just how much the overall utility of information is in making that information more widely accessible to the fringes of access.

      That's a key insight, one that deserves to be addressed.

      The immediate practical issue with this is that

      many owners of information don't want their information accessible by a wide audience!
      which, admittedly, represents more of a psychological and personality problem than it does a problem in information technlogy. All the great file system ideas in the world won't work if people are fundamentally against the premise of more information sharing being a Good Thing.

      Indeed, one could argue that more research is probably being funded into ways of restricting information access than devising filesystems to make widespread information access more efficient. Why? Well, because restricting the free flow of information is a policy that is more closely aligned with the current revenue models of important content copyright holders.

      You watch. Longhorn will have some improved technology in the filesystem to make information queries more efficient, but everyone on the corporate LAN will clamp down access controls that render it effectively of no value.

  • by TheAngryArmadillo ( 158896 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:17PM (#2920383)

    Naming their new OS 'Longhorn' is an affront to all UT [utexas.edu] grads everywhere!

    Can't they call it 'Aggie' or something?

    AngryArmadillo
  • by jd142 ( 129673 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:20PM (#2920413) Homepage
    I've heard talk of this over a year ago, and while at first it sounded like a really overblown idea, the more database work I do, the more interesting it becomes.

    There are a few problems though:

    Boot media. Right now, in the windows world, most boot floppies are fat12. NTFS won't fit on a single boot floppy. And it is a pain in the butt to make a bootable cd when compared to making a bootable floppy.

    So what happens when you need to boot from something other than your hard drive? How easy will it be to make a boot cd?

    What about the way MS keeps things hidden from you? Try this in XP: make a directory. Put 1 file in it called "testme" with no file extension. Open the file and type in the word "apple". Now do a search for all files containing the word apple in that directory. Windows won't find it.

    What happens when you do something with a file that the relational database can't handle?

    Done well, this has the potential to be really cool. I doubt it will be done well.
    • Maybe some other old-timer knows more about this; but wasn't it done before as the "PICK" operating system for mainframes?
      • PICK was a database-as-OS, but it wasn't relational. PICK liked to say they were "post-relational" but really, they just used flat files with multivalued fields. Essentially, any field could become a one-dimensional array.

        De-fragging a disk drive on a native PICK system was a nightmare. Essentially, you had to reformat and restore from backup to defrag a native PICK machine. It's little wonder that PICK Systems eventually ported their DBMS to various *nix platforms and gave up on the DBMS-as-OS concept.

  • by daeley ( 126313 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:20PM (#2920416) Homepage
    Microsoft today announced a security patch for Longhorn, to counteract the 'Sharp Cheddar' trojan horse, which shreds hard drives.
  • Database Filesystem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kill-hup ( 120930 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:24PM (#2920439) Homepage
    I personally think the idea of an sql-ish filesystem might be handy for some tasks but not the majority of them. I can see the benefits of running queries on my email and documents (and maybe even log files), but I question the performance of such a system in general. I can't imagine access time would not be affected signifigantly by this - even for the home user. I definitely can't see running this on a server level - can you imagine all the I/O involved in email processing on a large server running a DB FS?
  • by TexTex ( 323298 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:27PM (#2920450)
    To one who doesn't actively use a Microsoft OS, I can't help but wonder how many operating systems they plan to support and host. How long was the active lifespan on ME? I think it seemed less than a year. It makes me wish MS would use version numbers to imply upgrades or changes rather than XP one day and Longhorn the next. The Linux and Apple folk have never really had this problem.
    • Exactly! Isn't it weird that the whole world just seems to take it in stride that every couple of years they're going to have to go through this painful upgrade process?

      It's sort of funny to me that Mac die-hards are complaining about the difficulties associated with moving to OS X, when the last serious OS upgrade we've had to deal with was OS 7, back at circa 1994.

      I'd hate to be a poor beleagured Windows user, having to go through major OS changes every time I finally get used to working with the previous OS.

      I guess it's job insurance for MS tech support folks.

    • Version numbers... (Score:5, Informative)

      by mech9t8 ( 310197 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:22PM (#2920780)
      Every version of Windows has a version number, and a build number (ie. Windows 2000 is NT Version 5.0 build 2195). Microsoft has just decided they're easier to market with all these other names. "Windows XP" is something new, "Windows 5.1" is just another minor upgrade.

      Names like Longhorn are just internal codenames, just like, say, Debian Potato.

      Windows 3.0
      Windows 3.1
      Windows 4.0 = Windows 95
      Windows 4.1 = Windows 98
      Windows 4.9 = Windows Me

      Windows 98 SE was version 4.1 with a higher build number than Windows 98

      Windows NT 3.1
      Windows NT 3.5
      Windows NT 4.0
      Windows NT 5.0 = Windows 2000
      Windows NT 5.1 = Windows XP

      - There will probably be an XP Second Edition, which'll be version 5.1 with a higher build number
      - Longhorn will probably be version 5.2. Who knows what'll actually be called - XP wasn't decided on till last spring.
      - Blackcomb will probably be version 6.0
      • "Windows XP" is something new, "Windows 5.1" is just another minor upgrade.

        Actually, I'd call XP a downgrade. Adding bugs to a version of windows which came close to being stable could never be an upgrade.

        If I want fancy themed window borders I'll jump over to linux and kde and have all I want. If I want to waste cpu time I've got plenty of utilities that will eat it and give me pretty little items to look at as it kills it. If I want things hidden from me I'll just turn on cspan and watch congress.
  • by TexTex ( 323298 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:29PM (#2920457)
    I didn't realize that Apple was currently planning another new OS for Microsoft to use as their template...
  • by avdi ( 66548 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:29PM (#2920459) Homepage
    I have no opinion about this news; but I hope it prompts a few more people to make the effort to read through Hans Resiser's brilliant whitepaper [namesys.com]. The first time I read that article I was blown away by the amount of thought the guy has put into the design of file systems. The first OS to thoroughly exploits his ideas will revolutionize computing.
    • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:45PM (#2920945)
      An excellent paper. I noticed one section that should be read and understood by anyone contemplating the trend towards "digital rights management" schemes:
      A common mistake by authors of information is to not realize that most of the total utility of their piece of information will be felt by those to whom its utility is either rather small, or for which its value is speculative to the person considering accessing it. The other common mistake is to not realize or care how much harm will be caused by others expending the time cost of accessing their information only to find it irrelevant. Since we all have limited lifespans in which to do our research, time spent accessing rather than reading information detracts from our ability to wander speculatively after information that might be useful.
      He is making the point in terms of namespace balkanization, but I think that is argument is also valid in a more general sense.
  • by Artifice_Eternity ( 306661 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:31PM (#2920469) Homepage
    For some reason, /. didn't consider a story on future MS operating systems important.

    Read it yourself:

    http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10 738,2802585,00.html
  • After significant scientific endeavour, I have calculated the speed of slashdot to be a whopping 53720mph!

    Time the register posted the original story:
    28 January 2002 5:58pm

    Time slashdot posted the link:
    Tuesday January 29, @06:04PM

    Therefore:

    5.58pm - 06.04pm = 6 minutes

    Distance from London, England to California, USA:
    5372 miles

    Therefore:

    5372/6 = 895.3333333 miles per minute
    =53720mph

    Is this some kind of world record?
  • I didn't see anything in that article reflecting the alledged new focus on security that billg went to so much trouble to spell out in his public memo.

    And not just that the new "features" metioned sound like great new places for bugs to hide, but MS doesn't even mention new security features in it's leaks.

    Like many other people have said, if MS is serious about security then the next release of Windows has to be a complete security audit with zero new features.

    sigh. and I had such high hopes that they got it this time.
  • by motherhead ( 344331 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:39PM (#2920514)

    like all the work and money MS has been throwing into SDMI like digital copywrite detection and prevention.

    From what I understand MS sees an opportunity to vector the DMCA-like drum beating of the music and film industry with it's own "application as services" subscriber model.

    don't know when that shoe is going to drop, but when it does well... here is a quote for you: "Piracy is not a technological issue. It's a behavior issue," Apple CEO Steve Jobs

    All hail alternative operating systems

  • by Rubbersoul ( 199583 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @01:49PM (#2920569)
    The demonstration version of Longhorn ... displays a new type of task dock that can include everything from stock tickers to work group collaboration features. ... That's the pane in Office XP that provides a list of most recently used files, or clipboard entries, or other frequently-accessed features.

    Does this sound so very similar to any other Windomanages to anyone else. So often on slashdot I see comments regarding Linux needs to stop playing catch up to Windows, but now it seem that Windown is playing catch up to Linux in may errors:

    - Security is now a hot iteam at MS
    - The "new" task bar

    Ok that is only a few and to clarify I am not saying that Linux is beating MS, but it does look that MS sees many good ideas with the work being done with Linux.
  • Is it too late to hope they'll iron out the many remaining bugs in Win 98 before squeezing out yet another "new and improved!" OS?

    -Legion

  • From the article:

    The move has antitrust implications: it potentially puts Microsoft at an advantage over Oracle and other competing SQL implementations every copy of Windows will effectively come with a light version of Microsoft SQL Server

    Sorry I dont see how a light version of MS SQL Server and Oracle 9i could be playing in the same field...
  • Longhorn (Score:3, Funny)

    by peel ( 242881 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:25PM (#2920813)
    Sources inside of Microsoft were neither able to confirm nor deny rumors that Longhorn would have a built in multitasking Baked Potato Bar. They did however offer informaton regarding the new desktop themes which include Hickory Smoked, Wild West and Country Goodness. One source was quoted as saying, " Our main goal with this next OS is to get wait times down below 30 minutes for processes of 5 or more." It would seem that this is a hugh undertaking when weekends are thrown into this equation. As of this posting Microsoft plans to release Longhorn in two flavors: Smoking and Non-Smoking. -peel

    computres never mkae mistooks. -WOPR
  • food for thought (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dougg ( 553111 ) <rockrammer AT aol DOT com> on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @02:52PM (#2920995)
    First off, the "let's make your filesystem a database with an interface" and P2P scares me considering they are talking JET engine derivatives. MS is not known for it's security. Earlier this month there was an article about suggestions for tightening their security, and they obviously ignored it while placating to the masses that they are going to do everything to make security their highest priority( those marketing guys are hard at work aren't they).

    Here's an idea MS. Why don't you try building a REAL OS before adding a bunch of features. Then I hope Oracle et al go after them for attempts at tying again. This time a RDBMS with an OS, instead of the browser. Not that they have a chance against Oracle, just that I'd like to see them burn after being forced you use their various products. It really sucks when you've seen the alternatives.

    Before I started going back to school I worked in a UNIX environment, and although crashes did occur and were considered big events they were rare with years plus of up time. However, with MS products I ran into constantly (yes constantly) crashes, locks up, or spontaneously combusts. Now they want to try something as potentially dangerous with my data like ty it to the filesystem as a database. No doubt they will leave transactions and rollbacks out of it, so not only do you lose the current data from one of their features( crashes are a feature aren't they?) but suddenly it corrupts even more stuff because it was joined, etc.

    Now add someone somewhere else with malicious intent, with MS current(talk doesn't count) stance on security, not only wiping out relations, probing for intimate details(you're not keeping your finances on that machine are you?)

    Maybe, I'm just a little skeptical or pananiod or both. That whole thing bothers me to no end.

  • Why does this sound like such a Larry Ellison (Oracle) strategy:

    "Everything is a database..."

    Why does my Mother, who reads email and plays solitare, need a database?

    What she NEEDS is an OS that doesn't flake out all the time.
  • Winsupersite (Score:3, Informative)

    by Metrollica ( 552191 ) <m etrollica AT hotmail D0T com> on Tuesday January 29, 2002 @07:08PM (#2922516) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if anyone put a link down the WinSuperSite [winsupersite.com] so there it is. It has screenshots, some fake, some real, and a long description of the operating system. Worth a look.

A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard. -- Prof. Steiner

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