Windows beyond XP?

Does anyone know what the schedule is for the next version of Windows is? Or is it XP for the foreseeable future?

Also, is there any reason to bother paying the premium for XP Professional, if you don’t need the work group log in feature? It seems like a lot of extra money if you don’t need that ability, or at least I don’t think I do (isn’t it just for corporate networks)?

Is there any reason not to get XP?

Thank you for your help.

Ah now you’re in area of expertise! ;)

The next version of Windows is called Longhorn but it won’t be out until at least mid 2004. I would get Windows XP professional if I were you. It has a lot of great features and is rock solid. One feature I use that is not in the home one is Remote Desktop. This lets you remotely control other WIndows XP desktops at very fast speeds (i.e. WinVNC on steroids).

Below is an article I wrote for WinCustomize Magazine on Longhorn:

Microsoft Longhorn is still a ways off. It is the code name to the next version of Windows. And if you thought Windows XP was a great OS for customization, Longhorn promises to be even more interesting.

Much of the excitement is coming from two particular features: A feature code-named Avalon and another one called WinFS.

Here are a few articles that touch on Longhorn:

Microsoft readying Avalon for Longhorn…

Longhorn on the desktop…

We’re under NDA at Stardock so we can’t talk about anything we’ve been told by Microsoft. However, we can talk about things that Microsoft has already publicly discussed.

The cool thing about Avalon is that it promises to provide a much better, cleaner, and faster desktop GUI. Imagine having a skinned UI that has no difference in speed from “classic” and that in both cases it’s much faster than what’s been in past versions of Windows? Right now, the GUI of Windows is pretty constrained and that’s because if you try to do something different, the performance drops dramatically. For example, we can’t really do alpha blended edges to a window (where the borders blend into whatever is behind). DesktopX objects can do this but they are a special case. Imagine if the Windows GUI has the performance and flexibility of a DesktopX object? That is what it appears Avalon may deliver into the next version of Windows.

The other cool thing, WinFS promises to completely transform the way we deal with information. WinFS is an SQL based file system. When fully fleshed out by third parties (ahem) you could envision a desktop environment where the location of files is based on content rather than arbitrary physical location.

After all, who reading this with their 60 gigabyte hard drive hasn’t found themselves having to load up the find files feature and search for a file by its file name while trying to remember roughly when they last edited it? Ridiculous in 2003. But WinFS brings a framework that will allow third parties to do away with that kind of pain.

Longhorn also has a ControlCenter like Sidebar. This sidebar may or may not be skinnable by default but as an exciting new standard feature of Windows, it will certainly gain the attention of skinning software developers everywhere. How expandable the sidebar will be remains to be seen. But Stardock’s .NET component development is getting started and with any luck, the Sidebar will accept .NET extensions.

Longhorn is still a year or two away. Still, it’s good to see that if anything, Windows customization is on the rise.

If you don’t need stuff like remote desktop access, domain network support, file/folder encryption or dual processor support, then XP Home is okay, but it’s not much more money to use XP Pro, and get the added features.

Brad seems to have Longhorn covered, though I seem to recall that each window in Longhorn will be a fully z-buffered surface – so all that 3D horsepower currently used in games will actually be useful in good old Windows…

As ever,

Loyd Case

Longhorn: the rendering capabilities of Quartz with the graphic design finesse of your average GNOME theme and/or Winamp skin! Woo! Everybody is looking forward to that!

I do like cleartype though.

If it’s anything as impressive as this winamp skin, I’ll dig it.

If it’s anything as impressive as this winamp skin, I’ll dig it.[/quote]

I suspect it will at first be the Itanium of GUIs wherein it reinvents the wheel with high-speed consumer 3D power. But after they work out all the ludicrous kinks they’re bound to think up, I’m sure it will be quite spiffy…

Ok, is Blackthorn (or Blackcomb, I can’t ever get it right) the Microsoft OS that has the new, SQL-like filesystem? That’s the one I want to hear more about

[size=2]edited for readiblity[/size]

I just recently switched, upgraded to winxp home. I am surprised of how much it is an improvement over win98se. The lack of crashes aren’t the real bonus, it is the speed. everything even browsing is faster.

I just did the lazy man’s upgrade, after it analyzed my computer for an hour it suggested i just upgrade instead of clean install, what the hell, that is more than i thought about it.

Couple of oddities. Text search in explorer sucks, will not search all the documents for words contained in, screwed with mozilla and they should offer an install for people how only have a single user, the other crap is overkill for me.

And only one real bug, IE refuses to remember where it has been once I reboot. But other than that, quit screwing around, upgrade now. I can’t believe I waited so long.


If it’s anything as impressive as this winamp skin, I’ll dig it.

Hey, that’s a pretty good one. I am still partial to SpyAmp and of course the Fallout-themed AmpBoy. Any other favorites?

The new SQL like file system is mentioned in one of the posts above as coming in Longhorn time frame.

The new SQL like file system is mentioned in one of the posts above as coming in Longhorn time frame.[/quote]

I should learn to actually read a thread before I ask questions in it :oops:

Microsoft pretty much has to do a 3D accelerated GUI, now that the Mac has it. Let’s not pretend MS came up with an original idea here. :)

Yep, that z-buffered goodness is the Avalon technology in action. Fully composited windows. Wohoo! We’re prepping WindowFX to use that as soon as we get a working beta of Longhorn with Avalon enabled.

Blackcomb comes out after Longhorn.

Longhorn is currently scheduled to ship with WinFS, the SQL file system which I believe is currently code-named Yukon.

I upgraded from 98 to xp pro a couple months ago… it is nite and day in terms of crashing (i HARDLY crash in XP AND I have a SBLive! and old network card and 56k! ON ISA!) Knowing what I know now, I wasted time in 98 far too long… but it’ll be hard to convinve me to upgrade past win xp pro… I dont seem to need another os for awhile… like i thought for 98…


Blackcomb is the next server release - Windows Server 2005/2006, or so.

I have trouble getting excited about the new UI, I have been using a replacement shell for so long. Changing the way they render the gui should be a nice improvement, though.

I’m not too excited about the file system either. I never have trouble finding files, but I have my hard drives partioned and my data segregated. Might be nice for the “I let programs install where ever they want” crowd.

Not really. Before this one I’d cycle a few skins, but since I got it I haven’t bothered. I’d take screens of my the old skins, but those were lost in the Great Hard Drive Crash of '02. To make matters worse, I’m a crusty old fogie at heart. I fight change and fear that Death is around every corner.

I finally found the download here. I think the search is broken, since I had to use Google to find it.

MMD3, there is no substitute. I like the clean|blue color theme, or the silver3|blue2 theme, but there are 70 to choose from.

I dig Neptune

It’s easy to read, compact, and you can find all the controls…

The Power Pill