There's more than one way to reload Longhorn

There's more than one way to reload Longhorn

Summary: The folks over at aren't the only ones with "Longhorn" nostalgia. Enthusiasts over at the site also are looking to bring back Longhorn, a k a, the precursor to the Windows Vista release that Microsoft launched in January 2007.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

The folks over at aren't the only ones with "Longhorn" nostalgia.

Enthusiasts over at the site also are looking to bring back Longhorn, a k a, the precursor to the Windows Vista release that Microsoft launched in January 2007.

The Longhorn Reloaded team is looking to ressurect and retrofit a 2004 pre-release version of Windows so that it can be used as an alternative to Windows Vista.

The AeroXP "Vista Customization Square"/Retrophase team is looking to bring the existing Vista Aero interface to a pre-Longhorn-Reset version of Windows is focused on bringing Longhorn look and feel to the supported Vista platform. (Sorry. Bad explanation on my part.)

"Incubating in our very forums is a project called 'Retrophase.' Think the reverse of 'Longhorn Reloaded.' Instead of bringing Windows Vista capabilities to the rotting Longhorn 4074 platform, the community is bringing Longhorn goodness to the shiny new Windows Vista platform," blogged AeroXP member Rafael Rivera.

The Longhorn Reloaded effort kicked off in earnest last October; Retrophase started in June 2006. Last week, the Longhorn Reloaded team announced it had achieved Milestone 1 along its internally-set release timetable.

The existence of both of these projects raises a number of questions:

  • Once Microsoft "abandons" a code base, is it fair game for developers to use that code base to build a new product/technology? (I doubt Microsoft considers the Longhorn client code to be "abandonware," as one member of suggested, but this is still an interesting point to ponder....)
  • If Microsoft doesn't "release" code -- under some kind of open/quasi-open-source license as a platform atop which developers are encouraged to tinker -- as was the case with, say, Visual FoxPro (the basis for Sedna/SednaX) --can the code still be used in that way?
  • Would Microsoft be open to the "community" keeping a discontinued/older code base alive? (The Visual FoxPro folks are requesting an answer on this very issue right now, with their call for Microsoft to release the FoxPro source code so that the community can keep continue to update it.)

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • What Microsoft will do

    Wait and see what the open source guys come up with. When it's something good,
    slap them down hard with the licensing restrictions and take what they've developed.

    Remember, you heard it here first.
    • Sounds like this is what Apple did

      [url=] Apple Stole Open Source Code [/url]

      [i]As time went on, and Mac OS X got closer to release, Apple decided they wanted to keep some things secret.
      gradually projects were removed from the live cvs repository. Eventually, so little was left in the live cvs repository and processes already needed to be in place to do periodic source drops, the live cvs repository was abandoned.[/i]

      As usual, Apple is the truly innovative one here, MS can only follow in Apple's shadow. Apple is the one who used the Open Source community and as OSX got closer and closer to release, the Open Source guys were basically kicked out without even a thank you. MS might do this in the future, none of us know for sure, but we [b]all[/b] know for sure that Apple [b]has[/b] done this very bad thing in the past.
  • Come on, let's be real...

    Do you really think a company as savvy as Microsoft is really going to let a bunch of enthusiasts release a Windows build that could dilute their brand and market share? I'm shocked it hasn't happened already, but then again, maybe their people are talking to Joejoe quietly first. At first, I thought that MS might wait to see what the product looks like, but I don't think they can run the risk of having development they don't control on their own codebase.
  • Publicity

    I recently read this article over at aeroXP and it struck me they were a bit jealous over the recent media coverage over longhorn reloaded, both members from and came together and started arguing over this. in my honest opinion I think AeroXP simply want to revive a dead project (retrophase) and get media coverage in hope of doing so.
  • RE: There's more than one way to reload Longhorn

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