Microsoft outlines operating system road map

13 May 2004 Microsoft has released its new server roadmap, which reveals that the long-awaited Longhorn operating system may not be released until 2007.


Speculation over the arrival of Longhorn, the next major update of the Windows operating system, has been building for some time. The server’s first beta release, originally planned for 2004, is now expected in the first half of 2005.

According to sources close to the company, the second test release will come out in 2006 before a 2007 launch, the first service pack of the product in 2008 and the first update in 2009.

Delays to its release are supposedly to allow time for the software giant to concentrate on improving the security of its whole product stack.

When it does arrive, Longhorn will feature support for Indigo, a set of web services technologies, as well as improved manageability and support for dynamic partitioning and other features designed to enable Windows “mainframes”, said a company source.

Bob Muglia, the senior vice president in charge of Windows Server development, told that customers covered under Microsoft’s Software Assurance licensing programme will receive the update at no extra cost.

Meanwhile, updates to Windows Server 2003, the current release of the operating system, are planned for late 2004. The company is promising better performance and improved security.

A further update to Windows Server 2003, code-named R2, is also planned for 2005. It will possess an identity management scheme named Trustbridge, built-in Windows Management Services to provide added security, and new technology designed to quarantine new machines as they come on to the network.

In the long-term, the company has said that it will move to a system of major server releases every four years and updates every second year.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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