14 April 2004 Microsoft has been forced to strip a number of features from its next generation Longhorn operating system in a bid to get its release back on schedule.
The admission was made by Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Windows at Microsoft. However, Sullivan gave only a few hints of where the axe might fall.
WinFS, a new filing system based on the forthcoming Yukon database, which has also been delayed, is one area under particular scrutiny. WinFS promises to make it easier to find data on users’ PCs, but Microsoft may limit its capabilities.
Other major new features include the ‘Avalon’ graphics engine and the ‘Indigo’ communication technology, which will be based on web services.
The news follows a series of admissions that a number of major releases will be delayed. In March, the company put back the releases of the SQL Server database and Visual Studio tool suite into 2005, not least because both products will be dependent on new technologies planned for Longhorn.
Longhorn had originally been due in 2005, but its release has been delayed by at least one year and analysts such as Gartner have suggested that it could appear at any time between 2006 and 2008.
The first beta version of Longhorn has already been put back from this summer to 2005. However, Jim Allchin, vice president of Microsoft’s platforms group, attributed this to the need to re-assign large numbers of developers from Longhorn to bolster security in Microsoft’s current products.