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Microsoft launches Longhorn Technical Preview
Posted on 26-Apr-2005 07:33. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates demonstrated how the next version of the Windows operating system, code-named "Longhorn," will put even more of the power of 64-bit computing to work for people, during his keynote speech at the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2005

"The next decade will bring about a new wave of innovation in the technology industry through the increased security, greater reliability and faster performance enabled by 64-bit computing and continued advances in Windows," Gates said. "'Longhorn' and the new x64-bit versions of Windows are the best foundation for a new generation of faster, more powerful hardware and software that expands the possibilities for computing and transforms the way we work and play."

An audience of 2,800 developers, engineers and technology enthusiasts heard Gates trace the evolution of the Windows-based PC from a stand-alone "box" to a range of connected devices in sizes and shapes that let people work and play in ways they never imagined two decades ago. Since the debut of Windows 1.0 in the fall of 1985, Gates explained, the PC has been transformed from a single-purpose machine for technology enthusiasts into an entertainment and productivity hub for people of all ages and interests at both home and at work. Gates cited the growth of the Windows XP Media Center Edition, which has sold more than 2 million units, as a sign that the PC is rapidly gaining momentum as the hub for digital entertainment.

The third decade of Windows will usher in similarly profound changes in PC hardware. Gates urged hardware-makers to embrace some of the latest innovations in mobile PC technologies to create a more natural PC experience and provide easier access to information, as well as to differentiate their products. In addition to highlighting recent releases from Toshiba TAIS Digital Products Division and HP that integrate Tablet PC technology into mainstream notebook PCs, Gates shared next-generation mobile Tablet PC features and hardware designs from Taiwan-based manufacturers Acer Inc. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), and a prototype of an "ultra-mobile" Tablet PC.

The ultra-mobile concept PC set for 2007 makes the PC more personal, offers multiple modes of natural interaction, a 7-inch-wide screen and all-day battery life, and is always connected.

The ASUS-designed auxiliary display concept for mobile and desktop PCs and peripheral devices, such as cell phones, remote controls, keyboards and watches, offers immediate access to calendars, recent e-mail, digital media and other data. It would also offer updates on the status of the PC while the machine is turned off or the lid of a mobile PC is closed.
Gates also emphasized the opportunities created for hardware manufacturers by the dramatic enhancements that Windows "Longhorn" will make to the fundamentals of computing. Planned fundamental changes include integrated anti-malware that will help shield PCs and their users from adware, spyware, "phishing" scams and other threats.

Microsoft promisses a single code base and hardware abstraction layer for all versions and languages that will make desktop engineering easier. Image-based setup will replace manual installation of programs, while new tools and services will help large organizations greatly simplify operating system deployment to desktops.
Longhorn will also incorporate an integrated hot-patching technology will enable system administrators to update systems without rebooting the PC.

Those attending WinHEC also received a developer preview of "Longhorn," designed to accelerate development of hardware device drivers for the new operating system. The first beta release of "Longhorn" is planned for summer 2005.

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