Wednesday, May 05, 2004

WinHEC 2004: Allchin Touts Windows Roadmap, Experience Computing

WinHEC 2004: Allchin Touts Windows Roadmap, Experience Computing "On the client side, 2004 will be a big year. First, Microsoft plans a Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) release in late summer that will focus on what Allchin calls "safety" features, primarily security updates that will make the underlying system more resilient and reliable. XP SP2 will beget three major new client releases, XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (codenamed Lonestar), XP Media Center Edition 2005 (codenamed Symphony), and XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems, the latter of which targets AMD-64 and upcoming Intel-based x86-64 systems. Microsoft will also ship Windows CE 5.0 and new versions of the Smartphone and Pocket PC operating systems in 2004, Allchin said. Additionally, the company is planning a "media experiences wave" this year that will include a major new version of Windows Media Player that supports "Janus" subscription-content synchronization with portable devices, a major revamp of MSN Music, Portable Media Centers from a variety of third party hardware makers, and Windows Media Center support for Media Center Extenders, set-top boxes that will remotely access Media Center Content.
Allchin reiterated that Longhorn Beta 1 will ship in 2005, and demonstrated some exciting Longhorn capabilities using recent builds (4067 and 4069) of the alpha version operating system, highlighting capabilities such as the Avalon 3D subsystem and the Indigo communications subsystem. Longhorn, Allchin said will integrate the "three magic ingredients" of fundamentals, scenarios, and people. "That's what Longhorn is all about," he added. During a demo, he showed Longhorn playing 6 high-resolution videos simultaneously while playing Quake III Arena in the background; a comparable XP system was unable to play four of the videos simultaneously. Allchin also demonstrated an interesting migration tool that can optionally use an upcoming smart USB cable to transfer personal data from an existing PC to a new Longhorn-based PC.
On the server side, Microsoft will ship Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) in late 2004, which he said would include all of the safety technologies from XP SP2 and some unique server-specific features. Windows 2003 SP1 will be followed by Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Server 2003 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems, and Virtual Server 2005. In 2005, Microsoft will deliver Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2, which he referred to as "Windows Server 2003 Update"), Windows Small Business Server 2003 Update, a new version of Windows Storage Server (codenamed "Storm"), and Longhorn Server Beta 1. "Longhorn Server is now generally aligned with the Longhorn client," Allchin said, referring to recent scheduling changes; originally, Longhorn Server was going to ship sometime after the Longhorn client."
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