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Well this month has been fairly decent so far. In my pursuit for more information about Windows "Longhorn", I discovered that one of the presenters during Microsoft's WinHEC 2003 (Chad Magendanz) has been hosting videos of the Windows operating system and the history of Microsoft, including videos of the "Athens" PC developed by Hewlett-Packard in collaboration with Microsoft, Windows "Longhorn" concept videos, and WinHEC 2003. You may have already seen some of these videos thanks to Paul Thurrott or YouTube, however, these links will (mostly) provide you with higher quality versions.

For example . . .

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The official link for these videos is here, however, I am posting that link for reference as most users who have attempted to download the files included therein have experienced issues. One other user was kind enough to upload these on to his server, and I have posted the direct download links below. Because some of the videos have vague names, I have attempted to categorize them.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Concepts

Miscellaneous

Windows "Longhorn"

Windows XP

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This takes me back. An awkward teenager, downloading every buggy build and pouring over every screenshot and video. I'm now a grown man with kids! Thanks for the nostalgia trip dude :)

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Watching some of them videos just shows how far tech has progressed in the last 10 years, I had forgot how large tablets used to be!

 

Some great finds! :)

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All I can say is: awesome (and thanks, of course). I aim to download and view the lot over the weekend. :)

 

I just watched the 'aero feel (with athens pc)' video. Was it just a concept video or was there a working alpha at the time (that the video would have been based on)?

 

I don't understand why Microsoft scrapped all those years worth of (excellent) R&D, and how the 'mess' that was Vista came out of it in the end. So many great concepts and UI/theme elements...

 

I'd love to know where I could download some Longhorn builds now...

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...

I don't understand why Microsoft scrapped all those years worth of (excellent) R&D, and how the 'mess' that was Vista came out of it in the end. So many great concepts and UI/theme elements...

Because that's all those years worth of R&D got them, concepts.

Most of the actually functioning tech did get into Vista (New driver model, a proper compositing UI, etc.), it's just the half baked stuff that didn't make it (Avalon in Explorer, the sidebar, WinFS, etc.) It did burn Microsoft though, even today they don't seem to care much about WPF and the other managed stuff that came about from Longhorn (WPF doesn't even have a UI theme for Windows 8/8.1)

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if ms has had released longhorn that way it was supposed to, i would not only have tolerated the bugs and problems because for something that big, thats jut what happens, like from kde3->4, but instead they showed off what they would do and then actually released what they could do. and despite vista being my first and only ever ms os i originally bought, it was just not convincing ennough to keep me there. the ultimate extras never came, the few widgets there looked so cheap compared to what kde offers, the 2-3 nice backgrounds i could have gone from other sources too. my money felt like being thrown out of the window.

and then, soon after beta 1 of win7 i switched to linux and have never looked back.

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I just watched the 'aero feel (with athens pc)' video. Was it just a concept video or was there a working alpha at the time (that the video would have been based on)?

Unfortunately, it is just a concept video. While the Athens PC was shown during WinHEC 2003, there were never any builds of "Longhorn" that were as functional as the one shown in the video.

If you're interested, you can download the Athens PC whitepaper here.

 

Most of the actually functioning tech did get into Vista (New driver model, a proper compositing UI, etc.), it's just the half baked stuff that didn't make it (Avalon in Explorer, the sidebar, WinFS, etc.) It did burn Microsoft though, even today they don't seem to care much about WPF and the other managed stuff that came about from Longhorn (WPF doesn't even have a UI theme for Windows 8/8.1)

Thank you. It is easier to latch on some of the other features scheduled for "Longhorn" than it is to focus on what actually made it in to the operating system. In fact, if one were to create a post about the changes and their significance, it would be rather lengthy; this is why I feel that Windows Vista is the most substantial release of Windows in almost a decade.

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Looking at some of the concept for Longhorn and seeing where we are with Windows 8.1, wow...  Almost seems like we took a few step back in evolution.

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