Longhorn faces another delay

The first beta test version of Microsoft's next major Windows client release, code-named Longhorn, probably won't be available until the second half of next year, which would represent another delay for the much-anticipated beta.

Microsoft had scheduled the beta for 2004, but earlier this year said its release would slip into early 2005. The company is adjusting timing for the test version again because of all the work it had to do, and still is doing, on security, especially Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, people familiar with Microsoft's product plans said Thursday.

"I don't think you will see the beta in the first half," one of the sources said. "SP2 has been a very big deal."

The first delay of the Longhorn beta also was attributed to work on SP2. Many developers working on Longhorn had been reassigned to work on the security-focused service pack for Windows XP, which is due out next month, Microsoft has said. The work on SP2 and the focus on security essentially set a higher quality bar at Microsoft, the sources said.

The beta will be released ahead of a second Longhorn-focused Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC), which the company is planning for the third or fourth quarter of 2005, the sources said.

Microsoft does plan to continue distributing technical preview releases of Longhorn ahead of the beta, the sources said. The company has already made available previews at PDC and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) last May.

A later beta could also mean a delay for the final product, which is currently expected to be released in 2006. A beta period for Microsoft products typically lasts at least 18 months, but for a major release such as Longhorn the testing period may be extended, as it was for Windows Server 2003.

Longhorn is a major new Windows release, a "big bet" for Microsoft, Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said last year. Gates has described Longhorn as a "big breakthrough release" and the most significant release of Windows since Windows 95. Longhorn succeeds Windows XP, which was released in late 2001.

Longhorn had its coming out at the first Longhorn PDC last October in Los Angeles. It was the first time Microsoft talked publicly about many of the features it plans to put in the operating system.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?