Week in review: Longhorn on Tiger's tail

The battle of the operating systems heated up this week as Apple Computer unleashed Tiger and Microsoft showed off some of the beef to expect in Longhorn.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates gave computer makers a brief look at Longhorn, but acknowledged that many of its key features will not be evident until much later test versions of the new Windows. A fraction of the new features will make it into an initial beta this summer. Microsoft wouldn't say when a subsequent beta, with more new features, will arrive, but Gates said the company is still focused on trying to release the final version of Longhorn in time to make it into PCs sold for the holiday season in 2006.

The company demonstrated a new XML-based document format, code-named "Metro," that it will use in Longhorn to both print and share documents. Among other features Gates discussed was the ability of PCs running Longhorn to take advantage of storage that combines traditional hard drives and nonvolatile flash memory. By using flash for frequently accessed information, laptop PCs will be able to get much better battery life given that substantially less power is used accessing flash than is needed to spin a hard drive.

News source: C|Net News.com

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