Opinion of Windows Longhorn?


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Ian W

My apologies to staff if this topic is inappropriate. It is certainly better than another Windows 8 thrash fest.

Some of you may be aware (based on my images in the 2013 Random Images Thread) that I am infatuated with this operating system; these ideas. It may be silly to start a topic about a nearly decade-old OS, but I am doing so because I would love to read your opinions of it.

Conceptually, I feel that it is the best Microsoft operating system. There were many features scheduled for it that I wish were in Windows today.

Although I'd like to describe aspects of the project (in the unlikely event that you are unaware of it), the Development of Windows Vista article on Wikipedia should suffice; read it if you are so inclined.

Longhorn conceptual image.

hillel-cooperman-pdc-2003-aero-demo-06.png

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Som

i still have a few copies of this lying around

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Max Norris

Was interested with the early concept video (the musical one from 2003 before they got into the Aero thing), had some interesting ideas that were a nice improvement on XP. The file manager especially was pretty neat. Not a fan of the sidebar though.. toyed with a program that was pretty similar (Desktop Sidebar or something like that, I forget, was a long time ago), 99% of the time it was wasted space.

Edit -- This one.

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Steven P.

It started off with some great ideas and it was definetely ahead of Vista, shame the whole thing was dropped and "rebooted".

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StandingInAlley

Those were the days. The idea and concepts were quite ahead of time. Look at that sidebar and then look at the **** which they bundled with Vista. Sadly, MS had to scrap it because there were too many problems with it. From what I remember, the builds were never stable and leaked ram.

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Steven P.

Who remembers "Watercolor"? :p

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Aergan

...

Apparently too much change for their users too soon after legacy OS's > XP (which is somewhat ironic considering the changes these days).

I would have loved to have something running like in that video instead of what we've had to put up with in XP and Vista's lifecycle.

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0nyX

Used to try many builds and still have some of them.Really liked it at the time.

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(Account no longer active)

Windows Longhorn: still the most exciting Windows UI to date:

http://www.zdnet.com...00007363/#photo

Could someone explain why a large part of the Longhorn code had to be re-written at some point?

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.Neo

I used to follow all the Windows Longhorn alpha releases and was really exited about it. But after the the 2003 release date slipped and it became clear Microsoft wasn't going to make 2004/2005 either, I decided to switch to OS X full time. Windows XP just started to feel incredibly dated and overall I was fed up with waiting.

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Steven P.

Windows Longhorn: still the most exciting Windows UI to date:

http://www.zdnet.com...00007363/#photo

Could someone explain why a large part of the Longhorn code had to be re-written at some point?

afaik the team leaders were fired and Jim Allchin replaced them and was basically told to get it out the door, so it was dumbed down from there.

Short answer: the whole team was replaced.

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Growled

I still wish they had completed WinFS. It would have been a killer file system.

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Noir Angel

Windows Longhorn: still the most exciting Windows UI to date:

http://www.zdnet.com...00007363/#photo

Could someone explain why a large part of the Longhorn code had to be re-written at some point?

If you tested a lot of the builds, whilst having some really neat features they were both horribly unstable, very buggy, and performed poorly. In the end I believe Microsoft just realised that they were never going to build something that was stable and fast enough with the code they had and decided to start from scratch. It's a shame Longhorn didn't work because there were some really neat and ambitious ideas

I still wish they had completed WinFS. It would have been a killer file system.

WinFS was never really a filesystem it was something that ran on top of the file system to aggregate and unify content, a more advanced version of what the libraries in Windows 7 and the Windows Search feature do today. It was never pulled as such it was just refined to make it a bit less taxing on people's systems.

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Denis W.

Who remembers "Watercolor"? :p

Windows 8's desktop theme is essentially Watercolor Redux. ;)

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mr_han_solo

I really liked the Longhorn "Plex" theme. I tried to fine it earlier this year for Windows 7, so I could put on on my Virtual Machine. However, I ended up messing with all of the msstyles stuff and my computer wouldn't boot.

I always thought some of the later Longhorn builds were quite stable. I used them on my main machine for gaming, MSN Messenger, typing and homework.

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firey

Aside from 7, Longhorn was my favorite OS. I joined Neowin back in the days of Longhorn leaks. My favorite one had to be 4074. Loved the dark slate theme, the new icons, the awesome sidebar. I still have an ISO on my computer of it.

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Atomic Wanderer Chicken

Windows Long horn was like an idea in progress that turned into a concept os which was vista. They had way too many ideas during windows longhorn which probably caused the delays. Windows vista was nice, but it wasnt a fully finished and polished product like windows 7 was eventually evolving to windows 8.

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Osiris

It was a bold concept and I have always been in favour of eye candy in the OS, I don't see the point of modern computers if some of those 8GB of RAM and 5Ghz processors can't be used for a bit of bling on the desktop, unfortunately at the time the feedback was that it was too demanding on systems and it was more fllash than content; there were issues with the file system longhorn was going to introduce and putting so many features (regardless of how optional) onto the dashboard was going to be a big change for people.

So the project was scrapped and the ethos of evolution over revolution was the mantra of the Windows design department.

That ethos carried through to the lletter with Vista > Windows 7. You could argue that windows 8 threw that out the window but the changes to the desktop element I think still hold true, start menu disappearing isnt really a revolution and regardless of whether consumers agree or not MS has said numerous times now that it expects alll PC's in the future to have touchscreens or other forms of NUI input so the touch aspects of windows 8 were a necessary evolution.

In any case a nice topic and stroll down memory lane.

Edit: Even thoguh you are barely on it for more than a few seconds, the eye candy and some of the concepts of the longhorn builds around the login screens were my favs.

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Ian W

i still have a few copies of this lying around

If I may inquire, would you happen to have the PDC 2003 DVD?

Those were the days. The idea and concepts were quite ahead of time. Look at that sidebar and then look at the **** which they bundled with Vista. Sadly, MS had to scrap it because there were too many problems with it. From what I remember, the builds were never stable and leaked ram.

To be fair, the Windows Sidebar in Vista does include some of the Longhorn Sidebar features; but it is unfortunately a far cry from what could have been. For example, one goal of the Longhorn Sidebar was to provide a centralized location for system and application notifications.

Windows Longhorn: still the most exciting Windows UI to date:

http://www.zdnet.com...00007363/#photo

Could someone explain why a large part of the Longhorn code had to be re-written at some point?

Here is what I feel to be a great article about the development of Windows Longhorn. http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112743680328349448,00.html

I thank all of you for your valuable time and thoughts!

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Dot Matrix

I Liked Longhorn, it had some great concepts, however, many of which we now know would never have stood the test of time. Too many flashy effects, and too little usability.

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chrisj1968

I didn't like how much HDD space it took up. But after some fixes here.. a few tweaks there.. it turned out to be a great system. I just got to thinking. These OEM systems don't require a horrible activation. this copy of 7 works only on this laptop. so.. I won't need to worry about when MS stops support. just make sure I have the essential updates is all.

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jamieakers

I didn't like how much HDD space it took up. But after some fixes here.. a few tweaks there.. it turned out to be a great system. I just got to thinking. These OEM systems don't require a horrible activation. this copy of 7 works only on this laptop. so.. I won't need to worry about when MS stops support. just make sure I have the essential updates is all.

Eh?

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MtnDewCodeRedFreak

Remember what really happened there - the original Longhorn builds pre-5xxx were based off from Windows XP.

Then 5xxx and after were based off from Windows Server 2003, a far more stable OS than XP (I know, I know - it's a server OS, but still).

So, a reboot was necessary though.

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Som

If I may inquire, would you happen to have the PDC 2003 DVD?

honestly I have no idea, my record keeping back then was lacking :p

any way to find out from the disks?

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Ian W

honestly I have no idea, my record keeping back then was lacking :p

any way to find out from the disks?

Yes, actually. The following image shows Disc 1 of a pre-release version of Longhorn distributed at PDC 2003. Disc 2 is of an orange color.

longhorndisc_550x367.jpg

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