WinInfo Daily UPDATE, December 13, 2004

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In the News

- Microsoft Updates Windows Server Roadmap: No WinFS for You
- Firefox 1.0 Hits 10 Million Downloads in 1 Month

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Updates Windows Server Roadmap: No WinFS for You

Microsoft alerted me Friday to sweeping changes in the Windows Server roadmap, an update of sorts to the information that Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia gave me during an interview in May (see the URL at the end of this article). Under the new schedule, Microsoft will deliver a host of server-related technologies over a long period of time; the first deliverables will ship in early 2005. But the most notable news is that WinFS, the long-awaited storage engine originally scheduled for release with Longhorn, will no longer be included with either Longhorn or Longhorn Server, the latter of which is due in 2007.
Muglia told on Friday that neither Longhorn product will include WinFS. At the earliest, WinFS will ship as part of Longhorn Release 2 (R2), the client-side follow-up to Longhorn that Microsoft plans to release in 2008. WinFS is arguably more important to the server than the client, however, and Longhorn Server R2 isn't due until 2009. Blackcomb, the next major Windows Server release after R2, is scheduled for a 2011 release.
Bristling at criticism that Longhorn can now more accurately be called Shorthorn because of the many features that Microsoft has culled from the release or has made available to Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, Microsoft executives note that they haven't yet discussed many of Longhorn's features. Longhorn, they say, will still be a revolutionary release, with features such as a fresh UI, great roaming support, Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, new browsing capabilities, improved migration and deployment functionality, integrated antimalware technology, and a new digital photo experience.
Under the new schedule, Microsoft will release several key products in 2005, the first of which will include Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and several other releases based on SP1, such as the Windows 2003 x64 editions and Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 SP1. Also due in the first half of 2005 are Windows Update Services (WUS), a beta release of Windows 2003 Compute Cluster Edition, and Windows 2003 R2 Beta 2. In the second half of 2005, Microsoft will ship Windows 2003 R2, SBS R2, Windows Storage Server R2, the first beta of Longhorn Server, and Windows 2003 Compute Cluster Edition. 2005 will also see the release of numerous related products, including Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft System Center 2005, and new versions of Microsoft BizTalk Server, Host Integration Server (HIS), and Commerce Server.
Windows 2003 R2 will include new branch server deployment and management features, Active Directory (AD) federation functionality (code-named Trustbridge), simpler Storage Area Network (SAN) management, and integration with many of the feature packs that Microsoft released separately for Windows 2003. R2 is due in October 2005, Microsoft says.
Microsoft will add several new features to Longhorn Server, including centralized and filtered event logging, image-based setup and deployment, a manageable and scalable Web application platform, increased infrastructure robustness, Network Access Protection (NAP--originally scheduled for R2), reduced reboots, a smaller server footprint, a transactional file system and registry, enhanced end user productivity, enhanced Terminal Server management and usability (also originally scheduled for R2), sophisticated collaboration functionality, and easy cross-organizational rights management.

Firefox 1.0 Hits 10 Million Downloads in 1 Month

Just 1 month after releasing Firefox 1.0, the Mozilla Foundation has reported 10 million downloads of its Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser alternative. The milestone came shortly after news that Firefox had obtained 7.4 percent of the Web browser market at the expense of market leader IE, which hasn't had a credible competitor since Netscape was still a viable business in 1998.
"It seems that people are switching from Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Mozilla's new Firefox browser," Cofounder Niels Brinkman noted recently. However, Microsoft argues that's market share surveys don't include corporate Web browser users, who still use IE almost exclusively. Indeed, in my own unscientific polling of corporate users, I found that most of them still use IE at work, although many have switched to Firefox for personal use.
The problem with IE is that hackers have almost constantly targeted the browser's numerous security holes. Just this month, Microsoft released a patch for a major IE security hole that let attackers remotely control users' systems after they navigated to malicious Web sites. Frustrations with such vulnerabilities and a lack of any exciting new end user features in several years have led millions of people to switch to Firefox this year. In response, Microsoft has tightened up security in the version of IE that ships with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), although the company refuses to make that version of IE available to other users, and left open the possibility that it might add new features to IE in the near future.

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