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. 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.

  2. “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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Thanks smithy – OS 9 is indeed dead and buried for most Mac users.

    To be honest, I welcome Microsoft’s Longhorn, as I want to see how great or otherwise it really will be (aside from the hype I mean).

    I haven’t used XP to the same extent as NT, 95 or 2000, but I do know it isn’t as easy to use as it was hyped to be (or could have been). But it is clearly MS’s best effort thus far.

    OS X by comparison is elegant and possibly bordering on a work of art as the interface is exceedingly well designed.

    Stuff works because there is a lack of choice – setting up wireless is a relatively painless experience, but trying to get it setup on a PC is a nightmare (well, at least the one PC I’ve dealt with – it took us two late evenings and a support call to get my wife’s work laptop to stay online to our new D-624 router. Much too much time. My TiPB was online and working after 30 seconds.)

    Microsoft & 3rd party software suffers from a couple of interesting “points”:
    – too much choice, esp. control panels, leading to unnecessary complexity (largly unnecessary I say)
    – too many clicks on menus in many apps cf iMovie with MovieMaker – again, making it harder to use than it needs to be
    – continually changing (maybe evolution?) where apps are stored in the “Start” menu and in particular MS continually change the control panels. Sure, I don’t disagree with the enhancements, but if they made it fairly logical in the first place, they wouldn’t need to change things around so much.

    I’m cynical enough to think MS do this to justify new MCSE courses, since that must be a nice little revenue stream for them as well.

    So, will Longhorn be any easier to use or setup? Probably better than XP, but not a patch on OS X.

    Bring it on Microsoft.

  11. BM, while you are right about 9 and previous versions, I fail to see what that has to do with this discussion. The bottom line is, MS touted all these revolutionary improvements that would be included in Longhorn, and one by one they’ve been lopped off. That’s not opinion or conjecture, it’s fact. And it really has nothing to do with how good now-obsolete versions of the Mac OS were.

  12. What’s all this trash about comparing Longwait (haha, that’s the funniest one, Longwait….) — to Mac OS X Tiger? Or even Panther?

    You cannot compare pre-release software to existing software.

    Longwait must be compared to Mac OS X 10.5 or beyond, but that’s impossible because apple releases no information about that.

    Only XP can be compared to Panther and Tiger. (Yes, Tiger is virtually ready to go, all the features in Tiger are almost finished.)

    So this whole discussion forum is flawed.

    Compare XP to OS X.

    Compare Longhorn to nothing.

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