Windows Longhorn won't be reloaded, after all

Summary:One month after a team of Windows enthusiasts hit Milestone 1 of "Longhorn Reloaded," Microsoft has put the kibosh on the project.

One month after a team of Windows enthusiasts hit Milestone 1 of "Longhorn Reloaded," Microsoft has put the kibosh on the project.

Longhorn Reloaded -- an initiative of a handful of members of the Joejoe.org site to take up where Microsoft left off with its Longhorn client development in 2004 -- is no more, according to a posting on the Joejoe.org site.

In late May, the core team of Joejoe developers working to resurrect the old Microsoft Longhorn client code, managed to deliver Milestone 1. But the project subsequently attracted the attention of Microsoft's lawyers.

According to a mid-June posting on the Joejoe site:

"Dear Members and developers,

"It is with sad news that I have to inform you that today due to a (cease and desist) letter we recived from microsoft we are no longer able to provide you with a download link to longhorn reloaded. It deeply saddens me that although microsoft have known about this project for many months they only issued us with this notice a few days after we started to distribute the iso via torrents and ftp server.

"From now on any links posted or any requests asking for a download link to LHR the post will be deleted and the thread closed.

"I am just as sorry as you guys are about this, but we got to think about the community as a whole first.

"Many regards,

"cr1t1cal.

"Joejoe.org founder and senior administrator."

Jean-Marie Houvenaghel (Jemaho), the founder of Joejoe.org and supervisor of the Longhorn Reloaded project, posted on June 12:

"As per request by Microsoft, Longhorn Reloaded is DISCONTINUED. Thread Closed."

In late May, when the Longhorn Reloaded developers hit Milestone 1, I asked Houvenaghel whether the team had been contacted by Microsoft's lawyers. His response, at that time:

“We haven’t currently suffered any threats from Microsoft, maybe because Longhorn is considered abandonware, I don’t know,” Jemaho said. “Also I’m (not) a 100% sure that they are aware of the LHR (Longhorn Reloaded) situation.”

Contributors to the Longhorn Reloaded project, predictably, are not happy. A couple of contributors suggested that the team might be able to build "a standalone exe/msi installer to run on top of an existing install of (Longhorn Build) 4074." But it's uncertain whether Microsoft might attempt to crack down on such a project.

I've asked Microsoft for an official comment on the Longhorn Reloaded situation. More to come when and if someone responds.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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