WinInfo Short Takes: Week of August 5

Well it's Sunday and our ROTW seems to be AWOL with no ETA of a RTW so I'm going to be all lovely and post Paul Thurrotts often irreverent look at some of the week's other news. Again a blip on Longhorn (seems to be on everyones lips lately anyway) and the recently released SP3, is it screwed? we might think so.

Want an Early Peek at the Longhorn 3D Display? Check out Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar"

Speaking of similar but not the same, one of the more confusing features of the next Windows version is its 3D-based user interface, which some people have taken to mean that Longhorn will somehow incorporate a bizarre spatial UI, similar to that depicted in the Michael Crichton's novel Disclosure. That'd be nice, but it's not true. Instead, Longhorn will feature a desktop-based, task-driven UI based on that in XP, but substantially updated. Where the 3D comes into play is through Longhorn's incorporation of Direct3D, Microsoft's 3D display technology (used today primarily in games), which will be used to render desktop objects. Interestingly, this display approach is also being incorporated into the next Mac OS X version, code-named Jaguar, which will ship later this month. Of course, Jaguar uses Open GL instead of Direct3D for what Apple calls its Quartz Extreme display, but the net effect is the same: Under each OS, the desktop is essentially a 3D scene with objects rendered as textured polygons. And while users with low-end hardware will see desktop effects similar to today's OSes, Longhorn and Jaguar users with decent 3D video cards will see dramatic performance and display appearance improvements, similar to the effect such users would expect when playing 3D games. Good stuff, and yeah, Apple's delivering it first.

Does SP3 Have Problems?

What's not so easily explained is a small rash of blue screens experienced by some users updating to SP3. I've had a few complaints from people stating that specific Windows 2000 systems are having problems with SP3, but nothing concrete yet, and I've not had the problem here. I'll let you know when or if I find out more about this potential problem. Neowin has followed up and answered this here

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