WinInfo Short Takes: Week of June 9 (Longhorn and TechEd excerpts)
"Ballmer Verifies Longhorn Plans in Note to Microsoft Employees
Thanks to yet another leaked email message from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to his employees, we now know a few crucial details about the company and its plans ("Linux is a threat" and so on). As far as I'm concerned, the only interesting parts of this message concern Longhorn, the next major version of Windows, currently due in 2005. "In addition to the Longhorn client, there will be a Longhorn version of Office, Longhorn server enhancements, Longhorn development tools, and a Longhorn version of MSN," Ballmer wrote. "We will do the work and take the time required to get it right, because it truly is the next quantum leap in computing, which will put us years ahead of any other product on the market." In other words, yep, you guessed it. Longhorn could be delayed, even beyond 2005. Unbelievable, isn't it?
The Letdown That was TechEd 2003
And speaking of TechEd 2003: What happens when Microsoft plans one of the biggest launch parties in its history but none of the products show up? Well, after wiping that "deer in the headlights" look out of their eyes, the company's PR people started talking "vision" instead. Boring? Oh yeah. This year's TechEd was originally going to be a coming-out party for the new Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Instead, TechEd 2003 began as a giant apology and ended with a whimper: No new products are ready, Microsoft has no definitive release dates for those products, and the show had little real meat for its 10,000 attendees. Exchange and Office will ship at some indeterminate date later this summer, and even the promised Office 2003 Beta 2 Refresh won't ship until late June. Virtually every product touted at the show is destined for a late 2003 or 2004 launch. In one painful example, Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Microsoft's Server Platform Division, presented one of the most exciting products--Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services--during his keynote address, leading many people to believe the product is ready. It isn't ready, and the public beta won't even ship until late this year."