In other news, Microsoft today announced the official name of Windows XP Service Pack 3, er… Longhorn. I guess they have given up on the idea of a fast, good looking and secure OS and want to focus on ease of use since they have no other advanced features in the system, with the exception of Avalon and Indigo which have no real impact on users. This is somewhat disturbing in that Microsoft has millions of dollars invested in research and development, but still can only manage to copy Apple's interface look-and-feel. One thing that Microsoft will probably have over Apple's Mac OS X is consistency of interface, but even this can not be truly considered a feature.
It is possible that several months to a year after Longhorn, sorry, Vista's release Microsoft will release WinFS as a service pack, but it is more likely that they will make this a paid upgrade a-la Windows 98 SE. When I had initially heard about Longhorn and its ambitions I was truly excited about the possibilities, but then delay after delay, and all the cool features being removed make this a Ho-Hum release, at least at first. The betas so far, according to winsupersite have been unimpressive. Microsoft promises that the final beta will have many of the final features in it, but I'll reserve judgement.
And the name! Windows Vista? Apparently people are already calling it Asta La Vista as in goodbye? What are Microsoft's marketing people smoking? That doesn't even sound as cool as Windows NT 6, which is what it is I guess, but perhaps Windows NT 5.8 is more like it. Anyway, this is looking more and more like it will be a forgettable release even though they are building it up to be the biggest release since Windows 95. Windows 95 was a breakthrough in usability, so if they are looking at it from that point of view then I see, but their best release so far was Windows NT 4.0, and ultimately Windows 2000. I don't see them getting their act together on the OS front almost ever because of all the legacy systems they have to support.
Anyway, I've covered all that before. It is a lame release with a lame name. Frankly I am more excited about the Visual Studio 2005 release than I am about Vista. Visual Studio is an example of a great IDE. I haven't seen any better. Oh well, hopefully the next release, Windows 2011 will be the one. Or more probably, Microsoft will join the OSS movement and release the source for that Windows release and become a consulting company like IBM, and we'll all be running Mac OS XIII as the commodity OS.