Best Practice Ezine #22 – Longhorn

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Guy’s Best Practice & Litmus Tests Ezine #22 – Longhorn

Learn all you can about Longhorn because it’s the Windows platform of the future.  The latest catch phrase is ‘Prepare today for Longhorn tomorrow’.

Let us take a step back and ask, ‘Why study history?  One answer would be to learn from the mistakes of others.  What mistakes did you make preparing for Windows 2000?  For my part, I waited too long, ignored all those beta copies and only came in on shirt tails of others.

Conclusion. We have plenty of time before Longhorn is released.  Here is an opportunity to become an expert, along with the satisfaction of being an innovator and the joy of riding the wave of new technology.

Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT) IP Tracker

Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets.  IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:

For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges. 

For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker

Contents for Ezine #22 –  Microsoft’s Longhorn

Introduction to Longhorn

I often feel that I do my best work in getting people started, so here is very much a beginner’s guide to Longhorn.

What is Longhorn?  Answer, the successor to Windows 2003 which is due to ship about 2006.  However don’t wait until then Beta versions are now available.  Trivia question:  Is longhorn named after a sheep or cow?  Neither.  Longhorn is a bar at the foot of Whistler Ski resort, not far from Seattle deep in Microsoft country.

WinFX – Shell

The name means Windows Frameworks.  Think of WinFX as a shell, the top level of Longhorn.  From a developer’s point of view it means a replacement for Win 32 APIs.  For ordinary users it’s just what we take for granted as the operating system. (Not to be confused with WinFS.)

Avalon – Display

Avalon is brand new display system, however requires newest GPU v 9 (Graphics Processing Unit).  The benefit is sharper pixels making reading easier.  To give you an idea, they used the best technology from computer games machines, improved on it and named it Avalon.

Aero – Sidebars

New snap-ins providing an new way to keep track of multiple tasks, for example, stock ticker in the corner of your screen.

XAML – Son of XML

XAML will be used to generate boxes, most every visual element you see in Longhorn.    Easy to write, easy to read is the mantra.   Technically XAML is a Declarative Languages where the code and content are kept separately.  Message for Guy – must learn XML.

WinFS – New File System

Does WinFS mean? Windows File System?  No. WinFS stands for Windows Future Storage.

Rather than replacing NTFS, WinFS is a new layer between NTFS and the explorer interface.  It allows you to search and display files in cleverer, more intuitive fashion.  It is built on SQL’s new Yukon database, so WinFS will be powerful and robust. – Sadly WinFS has been abandoned for Longhorn.

Indigo – Middle Layer

In truth I am finding it hard to get to grips with Indigo.  It seems to me that it’s the glue which holds the messages, network, indeed everything else together.  Indigo is Web based, integrates with .NET Framework.

Palladium – Security

Palladium has high ideals and a long specification.  Security is its watchword.  One of Palladium’s best ideas is that it prevents unauthorised programs running, you have to agree before a new program can execute.   So viruses and worms should eliminated?  Well until the next generation of hackers finds a new loophole?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is related new system which will control, encrypt your email, music and text documents.


Microsoft has plans for a ‘son of Longhorn’; apparently, its codename is Blackcomb.  Could Blackcomb be named after a chicken? No.  As you have probably guessed, Blackcomb is another Shi resort in the Rockies, not far from Whistler!

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