The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: Will the Next Version of Windows Be Worth the Wait?: "Windows XP, introduced in 2001, could not match Windows 95's remarkable debut. We can hope that XP's successor, which has the code name 'Longhorn' and is scheduled for release next year, will appear quietly, bringing us closer to the day when users need know no more about a PC's operating system than they do of the embedded software in a cellphone.
Longhorn's gestation has already extended much longer than originally planned. Rumors of its existence surfaced in 2001, when the system was said to have been chosen as a quick 'intermediate' update of XP. Time passed, and the news media were permitted a sneak preview. But completion of even this, the interim release, came no closer. Determined to get it out the door by 2006, Microsoft decided in 2004 to remove a new file system for organizing data on the hard drive, what the company had earlier promoted as the heart of the new system. If and when this feature ever appears, it is unlikely to enhance anyone's marriage.
Regretful that it had announced an important feature that it subsequently had to remove, the company decided to remain quiet about other aspects for as long as possible. Microsoft has given software developers beta versions of two new components, for graphics and Web services, but these will be available for Windows XP customers, too. The company has yet to say what exactly will be a Longhorn-only improvement."
Timely snapshot. Predictably ends with allusions of Google as the next great anti-Microsoft.