Does Longhorn matter?

Summary: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.

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.

What do you think? Is Longhorn all hat and no cattle? Tell me in the TalkBack.

Topics: Operating Systems

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.