This afternoon we were treated to an interesting Microsoft TechNet chat session on networking in Windows Longhorn. The session provided a great overview of what we can expect from the Longhorn networking team come this May. Longhorn will introduce us to a completely redesigned and harmonized IPv4/IPv6 protocol stack. (Windows currently implements 2 independent stack binaries to support IPv4 and IPv6) Effectively it will be possible to listen to IPv4 and IPv6 traffic simultaneously, while using only a single listening socket.
Microsoft was really pushing the fact that Longhorn will be completely IPv6 compatible, finally establishing a platform for 3rd party vendors to build on. Our message to the industry is "move the applications, get them IPv6 ready, rely on transition technologies until the infrastructure is in place" Longhorn is slated to be capable of running in a "IPv6 Only" mode. Although you can currently remove IPv4 capabilities from Windows, a wide range of services and programs still depend on it for network access. All components of Longhorn which are "network aware" are slated to natively support IPv6 and IPv6 only mode.
Several small pieces of information came up in the chat which are worth mentioning. There are no plans to include a GUI version of "Ipconfig", similar to the old "Winipcfg" in Longhorn. Longhorn will completely do away with support for IPX networking, but will still include legacy support for WINS. Microsoft is still unsure whether NetBIOS support will make it into Longhorn, or when a decision concerning NetBIOS will be made.
See our "Read More" section for some interesting quotes from todays TechNet session.
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View: Longhorn Preview
View: Windows Longhorn Home