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Microsoft

Longhorn Server Scrapped 471

punkass writes "Microsoft announced Tuesday that plans for .Net Server, aka "Longhorn" have been scrapped and they will instead focus on the the release after that, code-named Blackcomb. NT4 came out in 96, 2k in 2000, and Longhorn was due out in 2005-06...Blackcomb seems to be a long time between releases."
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Longhorn Server Scrapped

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  • scraped? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hank Scorpio ( 137966 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:47AM (#4659692) Homepage Journal
    Plans have been scraped?? Ow! That must hurt!
  • This is good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinoflight ( 517245 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:49AM (#4659714) Homepage Journal
    The longer Microsoft has between releases, the longer Linux has to come up with great releases. Just think how many security patches there will be between 2000 and blackcomb... that's not fun and sysadmins know it.
    • Re:This is good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeppe Salvesen ( 101622 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:56AM (#4659842)
      Security patches are to be reckoned with. However, the long interval between new Windows server releases means that there will be large differences inbetween versions. If there's something that the IT departments don't like, it's large differences. That means that there are more things that may go wrong. Their current business logic software may even need a complete rewrite if the changes are large enough.

      So - I really have to wonder what crack Microsoft is smoking. They seem to be desperately out of tune with their users in the server market, and the Linux acceptance is proof. Professional users like backwards compatibility, and incremental changes. That is something UNIX and Linux provides.

      Look at OSX, too. After their initial release, they've been spewing out evolutionary releases and bug fixes.

      So, by having such large new server releases, they are raising the stakes for everyone - both themselves and the corporate users.

      Oh well. I don't mind if Microsoft loses power and influence..
      • >Oh well. I don't mind if Microsoft loses power and influence. I don't think any one would mind that. However, Microsoft seems to be the only company I have ever seen scrap a project and have their stock go up almost a dollar (86 cents). 8-(
      • Re:This is good. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:24AM (#4660134)
        However, the long interval between new Windows server releases means that there will be large differences inbetween versions. If there's something that the IT departments don't like, it's large differences.

        Not to mention accumulating cruft in the exsting releases.

        Anyone here have to put up with NT4.0? Between option packs and service packs and patch rollups and old 4x CD-ROMs, correctly installing an NT4-based IIS server was basically an all-day affair. Not to mention numerious things that could be screwed up, leaving goatse-sized security holes. Not even MS could keep the hotfixes straight.

        Then Windows 2000 comes, which is great, but requires an order of magnitude more network planning for Active Directory. Many places still haven't bothered.

        The key bit is the next server release after 2003 is when MS will scrap classic LanMan/NT4-style networking. At that point many customer networks are going to break, and they might just as well switch to something cheaper (Linux). MS might have wised up and chose to push that date out as far as possible.

        It's a dual-edged sword -- MS got into the server market for being simple, cheap, and partially autoconfiguring. Then big customers start demanding lots of complexity, and you end up with expensive, complex, and requiring good admins. Novell never quite survived the introduction of NDS -- it will be interesting if MS does better with AD.
      • Re:This is good. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:35AM (#4660254) Homepage Journal

        They seem to be desperately out of tune with their users in the server market

        It's because they don't compete in a normal market anymore.

        When you essentially own a marketplace, such as they do with desktop PC operating systems, then you can make a lot more decisions that your customers don't like but have to accept because the alternatives have disappeared or are considered too drastic (MacOS, Linux, etc.).

        Actually, the competition they seem to be desperately out of tune with their users in the server markethey've endured trying to enter the server market has been good for them and their customers: each revision of NT was compared with UNIX. Early revs were laughable, but MS had a target to aim towards in terms of reliability and scalability. Finally, with Win2K they have something where they don't get laughed out of the room anymore. I doubt whether it would have been as a good product as it is without the competition.

        They face a more serious threat in the future with their server operating systems. If they strongly leverage their desktop dominance in Windows and Office, then they can insure their servers are the only brand that works in a networked environment.

        But if services are standardized and commoditized, which is what customers really like for their effects on price and quality (as in the PC hardware market), then open source flavors of UNIX will have already eaten their server marketplace for breakfast when they finally trot out some shiny chrome-plated Blackcomb .NET product that "does everything and more".

      • Re:This is good. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:04PM (#4660595) Homepage Journal
        Security patches are to be reckoned with. However, the long interval between new Windows server releases means that there will be large differences inbetween versions. If there's something that the IT departments don't like, it's large differences...So - I really have to wonder what crack Microsoft is smoking.

        Obviously not as potent as the stuff you're smoking. Here are the facts as I see them. Please feel free to disagree.

        • IT departments HATE non-stop tiny changes, each of which requires new testing, and likely breaks several of their applications. This can be seen in the reality that many shops still use NT 4.0 even with its successor 2000, and its successor XP, available. Hell, most IT departments shun at even installing service packs.
        • Microsoft has oft been berated for doing what Apple now is the champion of, which is pushing minor changes as new versions (see 95, 98, 98SE, Me) and getting people to pay up. People don't like being "behind" when applications start using some esoteric feature of XP that adds little value, but suddenly renders obsolete their 2000 base.
        • Because Microsoft has moved at such a rapid rate, many organizations have simple ceased moving with them: By the time they get a plan together and start to act, they're behind again. There are still a large number of organizations that aren't using Active Directory. There literally is such a thing as being too-rapid in your development (at least in areas where users and IT have to move with you) because the early-adopters will give up, and the late adopters will always feel that something better is just around the corner.

      • Re:This is good. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Telastyn ( 206146 )
        The trick is of course that even if IT depts don't like large changes/differences, accountants and PHBs don't want to shell out tons of cash each time a minor variant comes along.

        This way Microsoft can more easily guarantee good sales. Instead of a portion of the users upgrading and the rest staying with 'good enough', they get everyone upgrading for something that is significantly different (and hopefully better given the development period...)
      • Re:This is good. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by peaworth ( 578846 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:47PM (#4661070)
        Another aspect of this that is not necessarily releated to the annoyance / lack of annoyance in the technical side of the the IT department is the cost. Licensing 6.0 from MS went to annual subscription payments that are based on a 3 year break even rate. All those companies that signed up for licensing 6.0 this year on their server OS's will pay for the price of a new OS over the next 3 years but there will be no new product released in that time even if they wanted to "upgrade". They just got screwed. That ought to foster some more good will.
    • Re:This is good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ceejayoz ( 567949 ) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:00AM (#4659891) Homepage Journal
      The longer Microsoft has between releases, the longer Linux has to come up with great releases.

      The same thing goes for Windows releases. MS isn't just going to twiddle their thumbs for the extra year.
    • Re:This is good. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tassach ( 137772 )
      Microsoft doesn't have to hurry on their next release because Win2k is good enough for their needs. There isn't a compelling reason for most shops to "upgrade" to XP. Actually, there are a lot of compelling reasons to DOWNGRADE a box from XP to 2000 [FYI, the license terms on bundled OEM XP Pro installations explicitly allows you to run 2000 Pro on that box]. MS can go on selling 2K and XP for 5 years, so they don't have a lot of pressure to get the .Net server out the door quickly. This longer release cycle should allow them to make it secure and reliable. Imagine a MS product that's ready for production at initial release. It would be a welcome change from their historical pattern: NT4 wasn't really ready for prime time until SP3; 2K wasn't usable until SP2.
    • OS X.

      The two big features touted for Longhorn (Microsoft's new DESKTOP OS, != .NET Server) were that it would have a fully DirectX rendered desktop for hardware acceleration of fancy graphical features (OS X already has this in 10.2 using OpenGL, and it's really hot), and a database-like filesystem based on SQL Server allowing arbitrary attributes and indexes on files (OS X will be incorporating a BeFS-like FS in a release in the near future).

      Long story short, all the hype Microsoft had left for Longhorn has been done already by Apple. What's the use of developing to a feature set that will be 3-4 years behind the nearest competitor?

      Microsoft feels Apple's breath on the back of their necks.
  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:49AM (#4659725)
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Longhorn is the codename for the next general Windows release, ie meant for the desktop, it's not .NET Server which is something entirely different and without any of the SQL based filing system stuff
    • I think you are right. As far as i know, they only scrapped the server version, but will remain focused on the Longhorn Desktop version ( ie a new XP++ ?)

      Guess that makes sense since the market has not yet adopted XP servers or in many cases eve not 2000. No point in releasing new server versions when noone has the time to migrate to the platforms.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:55AM (#4659831)
        Windows XP is a client-only OS, there is no XP Server (nOt a Matrix-reference!)
        Windows .Net Server 2003 is the (server)followup to Windows 2000 Server.
        Windows XP (Pro) is the followup to Windows 2000 Workstation.
        And Windows XP Home (finally!) 'replaces' Windows 9x.

        JB
        • Windows XP (Pro) is the followup to Windows 2000 Workstation.

          Just to nitpick your nitpick, there never was a Windows 2000 "Workstation". That was Windows 2000 Pro, the successor to NT4 Workstation, the last of the Windows line to use the "Workstation" moniker.


          Oh, yeah, and to be even more picky, you should say "Windows .NET Server family" and "Windows 2000 Server family", otherwise you'll be ignoring Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Data Center, as well as the various versions .NET Server will have.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:55AM (#4659824)
      Correct. .NET server is effectively Windows XP server. It's based on the XP codebase and it sure as hell isn't being scrapped, we have a beta installed on a test server right now and it's almost complete (mainly just the documentation needs to be finished).

      Longhorn is the next OS. So MS is going forward with the deskto version for 2004, but is pushing the server version back.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:12AM (#4660013)
      Indeed, Whistler is .NET Server. Whistler was also Windows XP... first time the desktop and server versions haven't been released together.

      Incidentally, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains near the village of Whistler, British Columbia, with rather decent skiing. Even better is the beer at the Longhorn Saloon, location between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains... See, Microsoft does have a sense of humour.
    • by netringer ( 319831 ) <maaddr-slashdot@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:34AM (#4660239) Journal
      You're right. Bill Gates himself talked about Longhorn last week on the Charlie Rose show.

      He said it's a "bet the company" project he's leading for a new easier to use desktop OS where all of the applications have the same easier to use user interface.

      The idea is for example, viewing a picture would use the same user interface as listening to a music source.
      • by ink ( 4325 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:15PM (#4660720) Homepage
        The idea is for example, viewing a picture would use the same user interface as listening to a music source.

        Oh, kinda like WMP8 then. A horrible interface that takes up 200% of the screen real estate as the media that you're viewing, with built-in software to "protect the user" from copying images from one medium to another all the while promoting Microsoft-patented media formats on the net.

        I can't wait!

      • Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <[ude.saxetu.macit] [ta] [rngtsyor]> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:22PM (#4660797) Homepage
        The idea is for example, viewing a picture would use the same user interface as listening to a music source.

        That way, when I need to figure out how to zoom in on the picture I'm viewing, I'll remember the UI from zooming in on the music... er, no...

        Well, anyway, when I need to know how to pause the music I'm listening to, it will be the same as pausing the picture... no, that can't be right either...

        Well, at least it will simplify the needlessly complex interface of current music players and picture viewers, which make it very hard for new users to... er...

        Why was this a good idea again?
    • You are correct. .NET Server is currently at RC1, with RC2 coming out "any time now". It's currently expected in Q2 2003. .NET Server is the server version of Windows XP (NT 5.1, where W2K is NT 5.0).

      Longhorn for the desktop (NT 5.2?) is in early alpha right now, due out I think sometime in 2004. They just scrapped the Server version of Longhorn.

      Blackcomb (most likely NT 6.0) is the first version that will have the native SQL filesystem. It's due in client and server versions sometime around 2006-2007ish.

      Take all the dates with a grain of salt, because none are set in stone yet.
  • yup (Score:5, Funny)

    by MonkeyPaw ( 8286 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:49AM (#4659728) Homepage
    Microsoft announced Tuesday that plans for .Net Server, aka "Longhorn" have been scraped and they will instead focus on the the release after that, code-named "Foghorn".

    • Re:yup (Score:2, Funny)

      by suman28 ( 558822 )
      No, I think that was the Microsoft Bob release. Both Foghorn (WB Studios) and Bob just didn't know when to zip it.
    • Re:yup (Score:4, Funny)

      by telstar ( 236404 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:08AM (#4659977)
      Microsoft announced Tuesday that plans for .Net Server, aka "Longhorn" have been scraped and they will instead focus on the the release after that, code-named "Foghorn".
      • Foghorn Langhorn? Now boy ... you're doin' it all wrong!
    • Microsoft announced Tuesday that plans for .Net Server, aka "Longhorn" have been scraped and they will instead focus on the the release after that, code-named "Foghorn".


      Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted as saying:

      "Fortunately, ah keep mah feathers numbered, for just such an ahmergency."
    • re: yup (Score:3, Funny)

      by bytesmythe ( 58644 )
      "Foghorn"? So it really is vaporware!
  • Microsoft usually has extremely ambitious plans for its "next" release. These always seem to get watered down as time goes on. In fact, they only time they manage to get a release on schedule is when it is little more than a service pack, eg win98se et al.

    Of course, now with the new licensing plan, I suppose we (or rather, you) should be lucky you're getting a new release at all.
  • Longhorn = Windows.NET Server? The one thats currently into Release Candidate stage? And they are scrapping despite it being so near to release?

    That cannot be right, surely.. unless Longhorn is the one AFTER the first Windows.NET server releases..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good! They should call it "Aggie" cuz it's
    evil.
  • by sk3tch ( 165010 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:50AM (#4659743) Homepage
    Longhorn is the "codename" for the release *after* Windows .NET Server.

    Windows .NET Server is already at the Release Candidate stages, I highly doubt they're scrapping it...heck, I already received my free Leatherman Pulse tool engraved with the OS' name for trying out the software. :)
  • Hell ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by NWT ( 540003 ) <tom@syntax . l u> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:50AM (#4659744) Homepage
    ... even Debian releases faster. HeHe
  • Not .NET Server... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Commando ( 6326 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:51AM (#4659748)
    Longhorn is the successor to .NET Server [microsoft.com]. .NET Server is currently at release candidate 1.

    <ob_editor_bitching>How about a little fact checking, eh?</ob_editor_bitching>

  • by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:51AM (#4659752) Homepage
    So, let's look at some interesting facts:
    1. MS Puts back the release of its latest Server OS.
    2. MS is pushing a new licensing model where companies pay annual fees regardless of upgrades, but then get "discounts" on future upgrades.

    So, does the new licensing plan allow them to basically, delay new technologies? It seems that, with their latest scheme, it reduces their motivation to release newer/better products.
    • So, does the new licensing plan allow them to basically, delay new technologies? It seems that, with their latest scheme, it reduces their motivation to release newer/better products.

      You think that removing MS's "release it now" catch is a BAD thing?

      Whatever happened to "it's done when it's done"?

    • It seems that, with their latest scheme, it reduces their motivation to release newer/better products.

      I might agree with you, but remember the biggest complaint in the previous scheme was unecessary upgrades? MS can't seem to win, first they catch fire for too many upgrades with little value, now they are critized for not upgrading.

      I bet there are a lot of sysadmins out there who would prefer to pay MS not to release "upgrades."

      • I think what they caught flak for was too many upgrades which either broke compatibility, or added uneccessary features. It was the nature of the upgrades, the interface was different but you had to use it to open the latest document, that pissed people off.

      • The complaint is twofold:

        There are people who want a new OS every two years or so. By skipping this release, they're screwing those people who paid for a subscription, as they don't get anything out of it

        There are people who want to keep using an OS as long as it suits their needs. But since the new Office won't run on legacy systems, and the old Office won't read the new Office's documents, these people have no choice but to upgrade.

        The right thing to do is to release a new OS every two years or so, but continue supporting legacy systems.
    • I don't think it reduces their motivation. Actually, I think it might increase it now.

      Think about it, with a guaranteed upgrade revenue stream, the pressure is off of them to release a new version every other year to keep profits up. It might actually allow them to focus on quality (yeah right) and actually put features in the OS people really want.

      Of course, pigs could fly too.
    • MS is pushing a new licensing model where companies pay annual fees regardless of upgrades, but then get "discounts" on future upgrades.
      Can you throw some links to this licensing plan push? Something from MSFT?
    • So, does the new licensing plan allow them to basically, delay new technologies? It seems that, with their latest scheme, it reduces their motivation to release newer/better products.

      Actually, having a monopoly reduces their motivation to release new/better products even more. This is just a symptom.
    • So, does the new licensing plan allow them to basically, delay new technologies?

      It does, but I'm not sure that is what's happening here. I'm certainly no big Microsoft fan, but I suspect it's more likely that there are other forces at work here.

      1. There are some serious changes promised in Longhorn. They may be taking longer to work some of the kinks out.
      2. Court approval of the settlement with DOJ may give them incentive to retool their business plan to find ways around the contraints, or achieve their goals while working within those constraints.
      3. EU pressure may be giving them pause to consider just what they will be releases in the next version. If I recall, the EU investigation was more concerned with the server side of things.
      4. Security and stability -- maybe after getting slapped around so much lately about security and stability, they are taking the time to nail down some of the problems. I think given the current security-frenzy that the United States is going through that security holes will matter much more in the next release than it has in the past.
      5. Linux -- it's entirely possible that Microsoft is taking the time to make roll out something that has a better chance of removing this thorn in their side.
      Or, I could just be grasping at straws.
    • So, let's look at some interesting facts:
      1. MS Puts back the release of its latest Server OS.


      If you want to look at facts, then post facts. MS is pushing back the successor to their latest Server OS. Their latest server OS is in RC1 and should be out by Q1 of next year.
  • Oh great (Score:4, Funny)

    by jon787 ( 512497 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:51AM (#4659754) Homepage Journal
    Now what am I gonna do with my Beta copy?
  • I'm not one to celebrate at others' misfortune, but this is great. "Longhorn" (anyone find that name a little, uh, suggestive? Yikes, Bill, stay away from my longhorn!) was to be the Microsoft OS that finally integrated Palladium, dot.net, Passport and other DRM technologies. The fact that MS has abandoned this OS may mean that they've realized how evil DRM is. Kazza users, rejoice!
  • by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:51AM (#4659761)
    ...and it has definitely not been scraped. It is in final beta stage, actually.

    Longhorn refers to the next version of the Windows Server OS. I sometimes wonder whether the editors do any fact checking or even read the articles...

    • It's not as if MS has made it easy to figure out what their goddamn products are named. Actually, their convoluted naming strategies reflect their whole approach. I'm sure if you asked Ballmer to explain it, he'd go on for forty minutes trying to convince you that it made sense.
      • Windows XP is the current client version of Windows

        Windows 2000 Server is the current server version of Windows

        Windows .Net Server is the next server version of Windows

        Now, that wasn't very hard, was it? Did it take 40 minutes?

  • by ausoleil ( 322752 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:52AM (#4659779) Homepage
    After all, we have auto-updating now, and since Microsoft is completely dedicated to battling Linux, et. al, with the lower Windows TCO, no one will need to pay for an upgrade cycle for years! In fact, all of the Windows administrators who've installed SP3 can now rest easy knowing that the boys and girls in Redmond are diligently uploading security patches, bug fixes and feature enhancements to your machine when-ever and where-ever it needs it.

    Isn't life great, MCSEs? No more staying up all night reconstructing servers, praying that the tape backups were current, etc.

    I wouldn't know, though. I changed my systems over to Red Hat, and keep up with the errata, and amuse myself by opening a sessions and typing in "uptime" ...
    • I wouldn't know, though. I changed my systems over to Red Hat, and keep up with the errata, and amuse myself by opening a sessions and typing in "uptime"

      Now, while I'm a mac os 10.2 user, I do have a computer running linux and another running nt 4.0sp6 at my desk.

      the redhat computer and the windows computer have both been up for over 5 months without crashing, and both do about the same amount of work.

      the trick? i don't run programs that I know are going to be problematic. i don't run IE.
  • Hum drum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:53AM (#4659782) Journal
    The release of new Microsoft operating system is about as exciting as watching CSPAN on a Fridy night. Should the course hold, and with a little luck, by 2005-2006 Microsoft will have been forced into about 3 other directions due to some real restrictions, Linux, and companies like IBM. News slated for 4 years into the future in the computer world means nothing.
  • The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Is it possible that MS is starting to lose control of it's own software? Maybe we are seeing the boundaries of what can be accomplished in a restrictive, closed source development environment.
    • by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <(su.enotsleetseltsac) (ta) (todhsals)> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:47AM (#4660397) Homepage Journal
      The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Is it possible that MS is starting to lose control of it's own software? Maybe we are seeing the boundaries of what can be accomplished in a restrictive, closed source development environment.

      Kindly name me one major innovation from the past ten years that I can take home to my Linux install that isn't a copy of a MS innovation.

      OSS definitly gets better qualitity--but I have yet to see an example or hear a theory that gives OSS an innovative edge over closed-source.

      Please feel free to correct me if you can.
      • by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:47PM (#4661075) Homepage Journal

        The funny thing about innovation is that it happens everywhere. Take the upcoming version of MS Office which touts two technologies that have debuted in Free Software first. The XML formats for Office are nothing more than a ripoff of OpenOffice's XML formats, and Outlook's new virtual folders are lifted directly from Evolution and it's VFolders.

        There is no question that Free Software is doing a lot of mimicking of commercial products, but that is simply because Free Software hackers are building a desktop from scratch. It's pretty tricky to build a word processor that doesn't look like MS Word, or a spreadsheet that doesn't resemble Excel. Especially considering that one of the major goals of these projects is to get people to switch to the Free Software products. Part of convincing people to switch is making the transition as easy as possible.

        When you get outside of the desktop, where Free Software has to copy Microsoft to even be considered, then it is clear that Free Software has done quite a bit of innovation. The reason for this is simple, with Free Software you don't have to start from scratch each time you have an idea. Instead you can add a bit on to an already existing product.

  • by hargettp ( 74445 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:53AM (#4659794)
    Longhorn is the version *after* .NET Server. What the article points out is that Microsoft realized that if they are delivering .NET Server in 2003, then it would be hard to justify rolling out yet another server version so soon--in 2004, the timeframe for Longhorn, gathering fame predominantly as the code-name for the next release of the Windows desktop.

    Makes sense if you think about it. And sounds familiar: Cairo never made it to the light of day, so some of those "killer" technologies such as a database-as-filesystem in Longhorn and later in Blackcomb may not make it to the market either.
  • by theinfobox ( 188897 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:54AM (#4659812) Homepage Journal
    If you read the article, it is the version AFTER .Net Server that has been scrapped--code name Longhorn. .Net server has already shipped Release Candidate 1 and RC2 should be out shortly. The final .Net Server should be out next year. Longhorn server and desktop versions were due out in 2004. Since it take corporate environments a couple of years to roll out a server upgrade, MS figured .Net Server would never get implemented by most IT departments(i.e. they wouldn't sell many copies of .Net Server).

    Now, MS is just going to skip the Longhorn release in 2004 and instead go to the Blackcomb release.
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @10:54AM (#4659813)
    Didn't all those people who signed up for the subscription did so on the premise of a new upgrade every 2 years or so? So now MS gets to take their money and no product to show for it.

    Maybe not enough people signed up?
  • One of the key paragraphs says:

    Analysts expect the company's upcoming server software, .Net Server, to take off slowly because many businesses have either recently moved to Windows 2000 or are in the process of doing so. A majority of customers, then, would begin introducing .Net Server in late 2004--around the same time as the planned release of the Longhorn desktop and server software versions.

    And that about covers my experience, too. Server overhauls take much longer intervals then changes in the desktop segment, where they install a new Windows every 3 years or so (doesn't matter, they are largely compatible versions, anyway... no admins, don't kill me, aaarrrghh).

    So it actually makes sense to come out with a new server only if the changes are really signifcant and if the interval since the last major roll-out was more than, say, 5-6 years ago. Besides, nobody has money to throw at a new unproven technology right now (and in 2 years all the same), anyway.
  • Now that Microsoft is selling its 'Software Subscription' model to businesses, every year that goes by without a new software release is money in microsoft's pocket.
    • Exactly what I was thinking.

      Pay for a three year subscription, and you get all the updates during those years, free! Well, great deal... if there are any updates released during those years. Otherwise, you basically paid the same amount you would have for an upgrade version, but never got one. It's completely to Microsoft's advantage to scale back on their release cycle with the new licensing model. It used to behoove them to get version upgrades out as soon as possible, to reap the rewards of the release. Now, they are getting everyone to pay for the new versions before they are released, and there's not much pressure to roll them out.
  • There is a similar article here [pcmag.com] [pcmag.com].

    It seems that Microsoft may be seeing that making a sound, secure server take more than just slapping a fresh GUI on top of a very tired, 8 year old foundation.

    Since RC2 has not even shipped yet, they are even talking about pushing the .NET server release back farther into 2003.
  • by Stonehead ( 87327 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:05AM (#4659944)
    The delay "is a response to what our customers are asking for."
    I want to have customers like that..
  • by centron ( 61482 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:06AM (#4659958) Homepage
    We still have a number of NT4 servers. Whine as might about Windows security and stability, our servers run fine. Microsoft needs to push this off so they can actually come up with a compelling reason for anyone to want to upgrade. When their licensing is set up so you pay thousands of dollars for the software and thousands more for the seats, coming up with a reason to buy should be somewhere on their priority list. If what I read is true, they're planning on building a database filesystem off of the SQL engine. That's something that might be useful, as opposed to .WHOTHEHELLCARES
  • Guess this means the script kiddies will never get the chance to jump up, kick back, and chow down on Longhorn.
  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:10AM (#4659991) Homepage Journal
    The goal of the next version (as I understand it) is to allow virtual folders, so that you can search everything with a common set of tools.

    Let's build a virtual folder driver for Windows 98 and upward, to allow APPLICATIONS to virtualize the information they manage. It would be nice to have an email manager than presents emails as a list of files, or folders. Sending could be as easy as copying files to a folder, and then specifying an address. (To.txt?)

    A virtualized database would present a list of folders in place of a table, with the fields being individual files, some read only (sequence numbers, keys, etc). To update the data, you just write to the file containing the appopriate field. If you wanted to add a field, you just copy a new file into the folder.

    There is great power in letting an APPLICATION control the virutalization of the OS, this is why the idea of GNU/HURD is important for the future.

    If APPLICATIONS can virtualize, then you get a freedom to innovate that would give Bill nightmares.

    Virtualizing the address space for existing millions of users and applications could do more to help freedom to innovate than pretty much anything it's going to take Microsoft years to come up with.

    Who's with me?

    --Mike--

  • People bitch that they release new operating systems too often, just to squeeze more money out of consumers.

    Then they announce the next server release after this year's .NET server is going to be 4 years away instead of 2. Now people bitch because they're not releasing them fast enough. Huh?

    Microsoft just can't win!

    What's that you say, they dominate the desktop OS market and have a large portion of the server market as well?

    OK, maybe they can win. Nevermind.
  • by iiioxx ( 610652 ) <iiioxx@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:18AM (#4660080)
    Personally, I don't know why Microsoft would have released .NET server next year, and then followed a year later with Longhorn. It doesn't make any sense. Every shop I've ever worked in or worked with as a consultant had a general rule of never upgrading Microsoft's server platform until it had been out for at least 6 months, if not a year. By the time these guys finished doing a deployment of .NET, Longhorn would be hitting the streets. At least by pushing the schedule back to Blackcomb, they are getting to a more reasonable timeline.

    Personally, I think Microsoft should maintain a 4 year release cycle on their server OS, and a 2 year cycle on the desktop OS/productivity suite. Anything shorter and you are going to outrun your customers. I mean, if you are running a big, multisite network with 2000+ users, do you really want to deploy an OS upgrade every year or two? Hell, I know of at least one large, multinational company that is still standardized on NT 4.0 Server and Windows 95 (and as far as I know, they are going to milk it as long as they can). Besides, a 4/2 cycle is pretty close to your average lease times on hardware, which simplifies deployment since you can time your OS upgrades with your hardware upgrades (at least, on the desktop).

    The only thing Microsoft gets by releasing a new OS every year is a lot of people skipping versions. Maybe they finally clued in to that fact?
  • by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:32AM (#4660211) Homepage
    "Internet Explorer." Ok. Explains what it does. "NT". Ok, it's an acronym of sorts. People like those. "XP," same thing except it uses the letter "x" which people just adore in acronyms. "Intellimouse." Sounds nice and maybe people will think they become brighter when they use it, good call.

    "Blackcomb"?

    Marketroid #1: "Ooo! Bob! I have it! We'll combine the word 'black' -- dark and insidious -- with the word 'comb,' which is something that most of the people using our services pine longingly for the use of!"
    Marketroid #2: "Jesus, Tim, you're a !@#$ing genius! I love you!"
  • I'm actually unhappy to hear about this.

    Longhorn was the first Microsoft product ever (at least that I've heard of) that was rumored to include a useful innovation. The innovation in question wasn't invented by Microsoft, of course, but Microsoft would have "mainstreamed" it, so that other parties (ahem) who play the penis-size-comparison game with them, would have had to jump on the bandwagon.

    Now that Longhorn's delayed, it will be that much longer before Linux gets a modern Beos-like approach to filesystems. Oh well.


  • Can we please get a correction for this article? .Net server is not being cancled.

  • by Tsali ( 594389 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:52AM (#4660466)
    Virtual directories, while cool, doesn't make me want to migrate. .Net interoperability with all new gizmos doesn't make me want to migrate.

    Have business needs changed remarkably in the past four years to necessitate changing something as fundamental as your server/desktop OS? No. If anything, my business needs for cheaper, more open software are greater because of the cash crunch brought on by the tech sector. Why do I want to feed them any more cash?

    I just don't get it.

    Somewhat unrelated... my needs for at home are simple...

    - Home budgeting/accounts - Kapital/GnuCash...
    - CD Burning software - K has this.
    - Browsing capability - Mozilla/Opera/Konqueror..
    - Program development - Python + Qt (or any number of desktop managers and languages).
    - Gaming - The big ones are available in Linux - Wine works for some other ones.

    Put another way....

    When I was in college in '91, I was eying buying a computer and SimCity 2000 was out. I still play that game. Anyhow, I had no money for it. I bought the game. I even bought a mouse pad. The girlfriend at the time knew it was a matter of time before I'd buy the box to run it. She was right, naturally. I put the buggy in front of the horse to buy what I eventually wanted.

    I refuse to do that if my needs (business or consumer) are already satisfied with a more affordable, customizable, nonlicensed alternative. If I want to purchase a quality product for Linux, I am more than willing to...
    I purchased Kapital, Komodo, and still buy open source books for programming even though they are available to help the cause.

    MS cannot create demand that does not exist in perpetuity. They also can't screw people over forever. I have VB5/6 standard at home and a paid version of Office on my own which runs on Windows 98. My setup has done me well for years and my needs have not changed. Why should I be forced to upgrade if what I'm using my PC for does not change.

    I shouldn't. Businesses realize this and if users didn't go around chasing butterflies all day, they'd see through the haze and either not buy (which I suspect might happen if OEM's exercise their options in the settlement) or abandon.

    I'm off the soap box now.
  • by aliebrah ( 135162 ) <ali.ebrahim@org> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:16PM (#4660728) Homepage
    Sucks be to everyone who bought a MS License subscription and was hoping to get an upgrade for the extra money they paid.
  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @12:46PM (#4661065)
    I just migrated all of our NT4 servers to windows 2000 advanced server in February, a good TWO years after the introduction of the Windows 2000 server products.

    Since then i've had to apply countless service-packs, security patches, fixes....some of which made some servers unbootable. Lots of organizations still run Windows NT 4 server....why?

    Two reasons:

    1. It suits their needs just fine.
    2. They want to wait until service packs and security fixes slow to a trickle before committing lots of time and resources to the upgrade.

    Does Microsoft think that adding a new product to the mix will make IT managers less gun-shy about a newly released server OS? Gimme a break.

    I won't be moving from windows 2000 server for AT LEAST 3 more years. Even if .Net server was released tomorrow, I wouldn't touch it for about 5 years.

    -ted
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @01:46PM (#4661676) Journal

    Bill Gates didn't know about the McMainerberry whupin'.

  • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @02:46PM (#4662242) Journal
    The remedy in the DoJ case mentioned Longhorn by name. Did anyone think Microsoft wouldn't just invent some reason to say of their next product, "This is not the Longhorn you are looking for"?

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

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