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. Blaming Microsoft for copying Apple is like blaming the 2nd place runner in a race for copying the 1st place runner. Most of these “innovations” have been anticipated for years and years. Apple simply has no choice but to go ahead and impliment then ASAP, because they’re what keeps Apple in business. Microsoft follows the same path Apple does, and hence it’s product looks relatively similar.

    These innovations include:
    -extensive 3d accelerated graphics
    -vector graphics
    -searching (and making it readily accesable aka spotlight or WDS once hardware is fast enough)
    -centralized and managed drivers and other commonly depended on aspects like audio and video codecs
    -increasingly metadata aware file systems. ASFAIK WinFS is in the works and will come out shortly after longhorn, what’s Apple have?
    -give users more direct options of transfering data off the pc (folders are the simplist way of gathering files, now computers let people directly burn those folders to cds or dvds)
    -smart folders (same as before, folders are the simplist way of gathering files, pretty obvious since that’s how people’s been working ever since the inception of hierarchial filesystems)
    -iLife. Nothing innovative at all, just a collection of good quality bundled apps given away by Apple. Kinda like a bribe.
    -Dashboard, not Apple’s innovation, someone else did the same thing first Apple just reworked the guts
    -improving reliability. Dependent on WAY too many factors to blame Microsoft or give credit to Apple. FYI most problems on Windows are caused by bad drivers, and Microsoft is improving it’s certification programs in areas where previously manufactures could pass along whatever piece of crap driver they wanted.

    Now Apple has certainly done some very nice things with OS X, so I’m not dissing them at all. My point is not that Apple sucks, but that Apple is no better than Microsoft. Microsoft doesn’t NEED to be the first one to make any of these things, let someone else do it and see how customers react. Microsoft COULD go first, they have more employees to do the coding, but that would hardly increase their marketshare. Besides, all a Windows user has to do is wait about a year and Longhorn will be released with most if not all the features OS X has, plus many more. And don’t bring up the argument that based on Microsoft’s past actions Longhorn will be a POS. They’ve reoriented themselves, learned from mistakes, etc. and are making something that will far exceed their old products. If you read interviews with Microsoft employes you will see evidence of more cooperation at Redmond, more networking among both employees and customers. Microsoft is finally listening to what people want and I can gurantee Longhorn will be a solid release.

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