Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005

Dramatic changes are in store for users of Microsoft’s “Longhorn” version of Windows slated for 2005 release writes Reed Stevenson for Reuters.

According to Stevenson, “Recent demonstrations by Microsoft hint the software maker is aiming to make Windows behave more like, well, Windows. The individual windows in Longhorn will be semi-translucent, making it possible to discern the contents of one window hidden behind another. The trick is in the degree of opacity — completely transparent windows atop one another would turn information into a jumble of letters and graphics, while more opaque ones might defeat their own purpose.”

“The operating system’s windows would ripple when moved and shrink or expand their content automatically, effects that require a significant amount of graphics power, the kind usually reserved for high-action 3D games. What this means is that the new software will most likely require new hardware or upgrades to work well,” Stevenson reports. Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Translucent windows that ripple and shrink? Wow! And all by 2005?! Amazing, innovative and simply awe-inspiriing. Will Redmond ever cease their tremendously rapid pace and unique brand of “innovation?” Let’s see… the Wizards of Redmond came up with “Luna” after Apple showed them “Aqua,” so perhaps this time Gates will rename the “Genie Effect,” the “Eden Effect” and hire Barbara Eden to market this “innovation” to the world? Good thing the DOJ didn’t hinder Microsoft’s ability to “innovate,” huh?

As for Stevenson’s comment above, “the software maker is aiming to make Windows behave more like, well, Windows,” we think Stevenson meant “windows” with a lower-case “w.” Obviously, Stevenson missed the real story, that as usual, “the software maker is aiming to make Windows behave more like, well, Macintosh.”


  1. And 90% of the world will think Microsoft invented translucent windows that ripple and shrink because Apple seems to be incapable of showing Mac OS X in use in their TV commercials where the world could SEE why they should get a Mac.

    SHOW MAC OS X IN USE ON TV, APPLE! (sorry to shout)

  2. hahaha

    Oh, I’m getting a cramp in my stomach. I can already see vast numbers of people calling MS tech suppport because every time a window tries to shrink, they lock up. Good times.

  3. “Longhorn sort of continues Microsoft’s insistence and belief that the desktop personal computer is best served by a fully high-powered device,” said Dwight Davis, a strategist at Summit Strategies.

    Once again, you’ll need a whole new box to run the new OS.

  4. It’s true I’ve had the opportunity to let someone who wanted to purchase a digital camera come into my office to try it out. When she saw that I had both a Windows PC and a Mac she asked me which was better. I suggested she try them both out. She took a photo and I welcomed her to attempt to transfer the same photo onto a Compaq PIII 733MHz PC running Windows XP and also a PowerMac G4 SP533MHz running OSX.

    I never mentioned the computer specifications or anything else about the computers. I simply showed her where the USB ports were (both in front of the computer) and let her attempt to transfer the images. She had never used a Mac and only rarely used a PC running Windows 2000.

    I secretly timed her from connection to completed transfer and viewing the image on screen. The times were …

    Mac OS X = 1 minute 35 seconds
    Windows XP = 5 minutes 45 seconds

    It was the extra steps, that Windows threw into the process, that confused her. With the Mac iPhoto launched and her only option was to import.

    With Windows XP the auto photo transfer window threw her for a loop and she had to ask “what to do”. I only said “give the options a read and tell me what you think you should do”. She did and chose the wrong option. She then had to figure out that she needed to disconnect the camera to try again. she succeeded on her third try.

    Microsoft thinks that by being verbose with their plethora of options they are providing a better product. Truth is Windows is great for developers or high level users who revel in their MS knowledge. People who like to have twenty options when five will do.

    Don’t get me wrong the Mac can be just as complicated if you want but for a novice user it’s heaven. You get the options which make sense and the choices that you need. In the end you and the computer work together instead of against each other.

    I agree with the notion that Apple should show everyone why they want a Mac and stop showing them why they don’t want Windows. Show them what OS X can do for them.

    Personally I thought the original iMac commercial (cir. 1998) showing the boy and his dog setting up an iMac and a developer putting together an HP PC was priceless and the perfect example of effective Apple advertising.

    Just my 2�

  5. If Apple showed OSX on tv it would help so much their growth I believe. Print ads are nice, but most people watch tv and always talk about ads. The switcher ads and iTunes ads obviously were made for a reason. Why not have OSX ads? Logical to me.

  6. Once again, you’ll need a whole new box to run the new OS.

    Yeah, are you enjoying OS X on a Powerbook 3400- a machine that was SUPPOSED to run OS X back when it was announced in 1997?

    And I’m sure Aqua’s just great on an iMac 233. Hey, what’s this “Quartz Extreme requires a AGP slot with 16 MB of RAM” anyway?

    If you think that MS is the ONLY company insterested in using OS upgrades/features to drive hardware sales, you need to stop drinking the Kool Aid.

  7. ” And I’m sure Aqua’s just great on an iMac 233. Hey, what’s this “Quartz Extreme requires a AGP slot with 16 MB of RAM” anyway?”

    Sure runs great on my old Imac… no complaints here since Mac OS X 10.0!!!

  8. Two years… two years… longhorn shmonghorn… Apple will have released completely different products by then, and a revamped OS. Bill gets a woody when someone looks at ‘his’ PC’s or his OS and says ‘Oh, is it a Mac?’ It is Bill’s dream to be Steve. By the time he catches up, Apple will be, once again, far far… far ahead.

    Bite me Bill.

  9. I couldn’t agree more about the advertising. They need to start focusing on why owning a Mac is so great. And yes, show the operating system! They focus on how cool the box looks, and don’t get me wrong, I love the design, but the OS is where it’s at.

  10. Well I don’t think that these are going to be features of the new Windows OS but rather a demonstration of the capabilities of their drawing layer (ala Quartz). It is also funny that this is two years away. Makes you wonder why they couldn’t just insert or upgrade the layer into Windows XP and get it out sooner? Do they need to rewrite the entire OS just to add a new feature into it?

    I agree with the other posters who feel that Apple needs to advertise the features of Mac OS X and any other innovations they come up with. At the very least people will be more skeptical of Microsoft’s claims to “innovations.”

  11. Longhorn video system requirements:

    “This means Longhorn is going to have some heady requirements, at least compared with today’s Windows. The bare minimum Longhorn system will have to be able to display at least 1024 x 768 with 32-bit color, and it must include a hardware accelerated 3D video card with at least 64 MB of RAM. But this is the base requirement: To take advantage of the fun eye candy Microsoft has planned, you’ll need advanced video hardware with at least 128 MB of RAM.”

    So a GeForce4 Titanium or Radeon 9700 Pro should be minimum video requirements? And folks in the Mac community complain when OSX won’t run on their 6100s or Quadra 900s!! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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