The news of the day is the official Microsoft announce for the target date of Longhorn availability... 2006.
Personally I was expecting a release date to 2006, for me it's not a big news. The real big news are this:
- Longhorn will be out without the WinFS feature... the revolutionary filesystem will be aded on a later time.
- WinFX technologies, including the new presentation subsystem code-named "Avalon" and the new communication subsystem code-named "Indigo", will be also available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in 2006. Great!
Reactions to this? A lot, obviously. Why this choice? Longhorn out without WinFS could be a loss of power?
Maybe yes, but I think that this is a good marketing strategy... Longhorn promise to be a revolutionary OS, so a step by step introduction on the market could be what the major part of customers want.
If I see the facts from a normal user point of view, I could say that what I like to have on Longhorn on 2006 is a great and powerful user interface, with transparency effects, vectorial images, 3D effects and so on. I need a Windows that could compete with advanced OS interfaces such as Aqua for the Mac world or the new KDE for example. I would have also other improved features but, if I'm only a normal user, I could survive also without WinFS.
If I see the facts from a developer point of view, WinFS is the feature I really need on a revolutionary OS (and also great security features). It's normal that I could be a little disappointed.
However, if I think with my mind, what I can say is that I really need that WinFS feature will well tested, with great performances and if the WinFS layer will be also on other platforms different from Longhorn, it will be a wonderful thing. I can wait a bit after Longhorn diffusion to start using the new feature... the delay could result on a better layer.
So, also if lots of people are disappointed after this decision, personally I don't think it's so wrong.