Microsoft’s Longhorn fantasy vs. Apple’s Mac OS X reality

“After months of speculation, Microsoft has released XP Service Pack 2 in order to fix problems in its operating system. Amid reports of problems and some successes, I recommend prudent users continue to wait before deploying this service pack. It has security holes and its own set of problems. Meanwhile, the company is pulling features from its next operating system, code-named Longhorn, in an effort to get it on the street by 2006,” Charlie Paschal reports for The State.

The Register has reported, “Two mainstays of Windows Longhorn will be ‘decoupled’ from the 2006 release, with Microsoft dropping the WinFS storage and query system. Originally intended to be a full-blown replacement for the NTFS file system that put a database at the heart of Windows, WinFS will now be available as an add-on no sooner than 2007 for Longhorn, XP and Windows 2003. Or to be more precise – and here is another new piece of jargon for Redmond watchers – WinFS will be released as an ‘out-of-band add-on pack.’ Got that?”

“A cut-down version of Avalon, minus the compositor and the new device driver model will be backported to Windows XP too. Microsoft had already pledged to backport the next generation of middleware APIs, code named Indigo, to XP. All of which has left developers questioning the necessity of a ‘big bang.’ ‘If WinFX (including Avalon and Indigo) are going to be available for WinXP and Win2003.


  1. again..whenever longhorn best it will be equivalent to jaguar

    except for one thing…

    when they first started talking about LH.. they were talking about building a new OS from the ground up.. not based on MS DOS or based on Win2000 or any of this stuff…

    but… now they’re talking about LH being an XP upgrade in stages…

    so they’re using XP as the base code…

    what a freakin’ waste of a good/logical idea..

  2. first po… oh, never mind

    Despite the fact that, once again, a respected publication slams M$ for tardiness, incompetence, megalomania, whatever, when the horribly inefficient product finally ships the press will go ape-shit over it, praising it to the heavens and imploring everyone to buy it.

  3. Longhorn with an intact Avalon, at best could’ve hoped to be compared to Mac OS X 10.0. Windows XP is still worse than Mac OS 9, for Steve’s sake!

    People who think Shorthorn (even in its pre-gutted vapor form) will compare to Mac OS X 10.3 ‘Panther’ give Microsoft far too much credit and have never used Mac OS X.

  4. Just think…..

    theres an off chance, that if / when this bloated cow finally DOES ship…that LongHorn MIGHT be as stable as….. say …
    Mac OS 7.6 !!…

    Hey, it COULD happen !!

    Let’s all give Billy Gates some benefit of a doubt !!

  5. “Some in the industry believe that Microsoft could learn from one of its rivals — Apple Computer Co. The Mac maker does a great job of keeping both its new hardware and software under wraps, then thrilling its fans with whizzy breakthroughs — something it did once again in late August with the unveiling of its gorgeous new iMac computer. In contrast, when Microsoft doesn’t deliver on its promises, it loses credibility with PC makers, software publishers, and customers.”

    In some ways this seems true, but I tried to find “Longhorn” at but all I could find was some hyped up press release. At Apple, I easily found Tiger by clicking on the large “Mac OS X” tab and then the very noticeable “SNEAK PREVIEW Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger” icon at the top.

    Microsoft seems to make hyped up promises then runs and hides. You have to dig and dig just to find any facts. But don’t depend on those facts because they seem to change daily, and never for the better.

    Apple promises. Apple delivers.
    The introduction of Apple’s “Spotlight” and the demise of Microsoft’s “WinFS” could not have been timed any better.

    And in terms of technology, where is Microsoft’s equivalent to this… …or this… …?

    How can any software developer create ANY software for such vaporous OS such as Longhorn? Are these developers forced to sit on their hands and wait? My advice is to develop software for the Mac platform. You will have a loyal user base and access to the latest innovations in hardware and operating systems.

    The only innovation Microsoft seems to have created is a new word, “neo-obsolescence”; becoming archaic before it is created.

  6. What is everybody talking about???

    Longhorn is comming…

    I am using an alpha of Longhorn every day on my computer.

    It is called Panther (OS X 10.3).

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. From Thurrot’s article referenced above:
    “Microsoft works better when it tackles projects in small steps…development time and complexity is just too much to ask of customers. In the future, Microsoft will need to work off of a stable base, adding features on a yearly basis.”

    Hmmmm, I seem to remember PC people crowing about how Apple releases these “minor” (even though they are not) updates on a yearly basis that we Mac fans are crazy to continually pay for. No matter how much these analysts try to put down Apple, the more they talk about how Microsoft “should” be, the more they describe how Apple is. They just don’t seem to be smart enough to recognize it.


  8. If I were Bill Gates and I had the 6 BILLION dollar R&D budget that MS has at their disposal, I’d have a team of programmers tucked away secretly building a brand new OS from scratch that would be completely compatible with current Windows flavors but had none of the security/stability problems. Come on, with $6 billion, anything should be possible.

    I’m sure that Apple has ideas that they’d like to incorporate into their upcoming OS that don’t pan out for technological reasons, but they aren’t seen as vaporware because they didn’t announce them. When they tell us about the next version of the OS, they know they can deliver what they promise. MS has no excuse. With their gargantuan budget they should be leading the industry with innovation. Not playing the “me too” game with a company that has a fraction of their resources.

  9. I cannot stand you lemmings. As a Mac user myself, it’s clear that none of you have ever used Longhorn, so how in the hell can you tell us what it will be when it actually ships? Have you used it? Do you know real facts instead of pure conjecture? Can you be objective at all instead of just handjobbing a circle of Apple fans?

    The bullshit comments about this news exemplifies exactly what I hate about being a Mac user. The whole pissy “us against the world” attitude — ESPECIALLY while ignorning the facts.

    When Longhorn ships, it will be a good OS. It will have thousands upon thousands of applications written for it. It will have massive developer backing. It will be the top-tier OS choice for anyone purchasing a new PC.

    Oh, and about the ignorant “Apple promises and Apple delivers!” comment posted somewhere above this. Does Apple really promise and deliver? Then where is my 3 GHz G5? Anyone? Bueller? Hello?

  10. JV, Go to a PC board and post that you’re a Mac user. After they get done with you, you’ll come running back to this board with your tail between your legs and pissed off that they dare diss your Mac when they’ve never even used one. You see, that is one big difference I find between Mac users and PC users is that most Mac users have fairly extensive experience on Windows. Based on the prevalance of the platform, there is really no way not to. You’ll have to excuse us if we gloat because we truly know the difference.

  11. we are just waiting for Apple to release Tiger, so we can reverse engineer it, and add what we steal to Longhorn. Apple not releasing Tiger on time really put a crimp into our longhorn development. Its all Apple’s fault.

  12. “It continues to amaze me that anyone uses a PC running Windows. Absolutely mind-boggling.”

    I feel the same as ‘digital boy’.

    I would like to see more suggestions for new names for “longhorn”. That’d be fun! I like “bull horn”!

  13. JV, that’s the point, NO ONE has used Logjam because MS cannot deliver what they promised. It’s progressively becoming less and less of an update. All of the features that were supposed to make it so revolutionary are being hacked off one by one in typical MS fashion. When (if) it does see the light of day, it won’t be much different from XP. All the while Apple will have released Tiger and perhaps even the next cat.

  14. “When Longhorn ships, it will be a good OS. It will have thousands upon thousands of applications written for it. It will have massive developer backing. It will be the top-tier OS choice for anyone purchasing a new PC.”

    Is that a fact, JV? Do you know the facts instead of pure conjecture? Have you used it? It’s a fact that winFS was to be a part of Longhorn. That’s a fact.

    Top-tier choice for PC’s? How many “tiers” are their in the PC OS world?

  15. JV,

    “As a Mac user myself, it’s clear that none of you have ever used Longhorn, so how in the hell can you tell us what it will be when it actually ships? Have you used it?”

    What a STUPID comment, you really are showing your age (about 8 years old). No one has used it, it doesn’t exist. It’s vapourware.

    There may be alpha builds, but judging by what that piece of shit company Microshaft say it will look nothing like the final product when/if it ships.

    So get over yourself JV, and fsck off back under the rock you came from.

  16. Excuse me, but I’m a Mac user, so I’m unfamiliar with some common computer terms… I guess I’ll never be a “Pro” computer user like some of my friends that use Windows…

    So… here is my question… What is a computer virus?

    Thanks… I appreciate it when Windows users help me out in areas where my knowledge is limited.

  17. JV, I am the one that wrote “Apple promises. Apple delivers.” above.

    I will grant you that the 3Ghz G5 is missing due to process problems at IBM (has nothing to do with Apple).


    1. You completely failed to address (or ignored) all of my other concerns and questions in that same posting.


    2. I think Apple’s production of a $1299, 64-bit, home computer w/ 17″ LCD monitor that Microsoft and Intel/Dell/Hp still consider a “Workstation/Server” class system is very impressive. When you can go to Dell and get an all-in-one, 64-bit computer w/17″ monitor running on an OS that utilizes its 64-bit power using existing applications and has just HALF the innovations on Tiger, and make it Mom & Pop friendly, with NO virus threats, all for under $1300 …THEN come back and talk to me about Apple’s lack of G5 innovation!

  18. Glick7: you use a Mac right? and OS X even, right?

    Than I am sorry there is little chance you’ll ever know what a virus is. You see, it could be written but it would not easily spread.

    We need Windows. Only there one can witness 100k infected in days. On OS X it is not worth. At most we could get few thousands. It is the same as for Unix. The last BIG infection hit 6k computer.
    Does not make the news, brings no fame, totally useless to spend time on it.

    Thanks Bill Gates, with your OS we could have fame and make big time news.

  19. I love all of you mac widgets talking crap.
    No matter how much you love your Mac I can still hear the fear and of course jealousy in your writing. Call it Longhorn, Foghorn or F***horn if you want.

    Just be sure to call it #1 when it arrives.

    Macs Suck, PC’s Rule!

  20. Sorry, but I must agree with JV.

    You guys are all so Mac-oriented, that you can’t see straight. The distortion field is pulling you all in.

    Sure, Mac’s are better (no denying it), but JV said Longhorn will be “the top-tier OS choice for anyone purchasing a new PC” – and he’s right. Linux or BSD are hardly going to be the top tier choice in the next two years due to complexity, and unless OS X makes a jump to x86, I don’t see any falsehoods in his statement. XP is probably the best PC OS available, even with a flawed security system. Microsoft has all but killed BeOS and Apple killed the NeXT OS on x86 and Linux/BSD aren’t idiot proof enough.

    The thousands of apps JV talks about are probably existing ones, or new ones in the wings (although thousands of new apps could be stretching it, esp, if the direction keeps changing.)

    Microsoft have a history of whiz bang announcments and delays – I seem to remember even Windows 95 being really late. They named it and had to get it out the door that year… it shipped in August, which was pretty good I thought. Better than December I guess.

    And whilst OS X is great now [I’m getting into my fire retardent suit], as a Mac lover since 1990, I have to admit that the core of previous versions of Mac OS (9 and before) were seriously flawed. I honestly believe 95 was more advanced in many ways and NT at the core (excluding security) was a much more serious OS, much more so than the Mac OS <= 9 ever were.

    I’m talking about running multiple apps all at once, without one of them crashing and taking the whole computer with it. Even John Carmack (Id Software) said something that the Zen of developing for a Mac is “be at peace while rebooting” (caveat: the following link does suggest Carmack wasn’t using proper tools at the time, but to me, it still suggests Mac OS 8/9 was a somewhat flawed system to begin with, by missing proper memory protection etc.)

    Don’t get me wrong, MS stuff still sucks (too many clicks for instance ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> but OS 9 and before were lame under the hood, even if they were easy to use.

    Hey, if they were so darned great, why did Apple spend $$$$ on developing a new OS in the early ’90s? They knew too guys, otherwise we’d still be using a core from 1984.

    And Apple do have a history, besides missing 3Ghz G5’s… what about Copeland? That NEVER shipped. NeXT came to the rescue.

    Short memories we all have don’t we.

  21. BM,

    Thanks for the history lesson.

    OS 9 did suck. That’s why they have developed OS X. It rules, it’s solid, it has no viruses.

    Once again, thanks for the history lesson, but this is 2004 and OS 9 is dead and buried.

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