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WinHEC 2005: Day One Blog [Updated]

5:30 am
Microsoft has given out Longhorn build 5048 to showgoers as promised. I find it interesting that they provided the build the day before the show opens. This suggest that it isn't all that exciting to look at, an opinion which is backed up when you actually install the thing. I'll have a screenshot gallery available later today, but Neowin has a few shots available here.

My SuperSite WinHEC 2005 page is here.

I'm taking two PCs to the show, an HP widescreen notebook and (heh) an Apple Powerbook. I'm going to try and record as much as I can for future reference. These shows are always horribly busy for me. I'm going to try and have some fun this time, for a change.

Steve Bink arrived after what I'm sure was a long flight. I believe Tom Warren is here too, but haven't spoken with him yet.

Chris Wilson at the IEBlog over on MSDN has revealed a few more IE 7 details, so I'll need to update my IE 7 Preview: "The first couple of things they’ve done are support the alpha channel in PNG images \[and\] address CSS consistency problems ...  we’re really excited that the beta release is almost here."

7:05 am
After fighting the insane Seattle traffic, I arrived at the Washington Convention Center, registered, and picked up the materials, which included a number of DVDs and CDs: Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition, Microsoft Products and Tools DVD 1 (Windows Server 2003 SP1 DDK, Windows Server 2003 SP1 OS Symbols, Windows HCT 12.1 (SP1 Updates), Windows Server 2003 SP1 Updates), Microsoft Products and Tools DVD 2 (Longhorn 5048 x86 Pro/x64 Pro, Longhorn OS Updates, Windows Driver Kit (WDK), Longhorn SDK), and Microsoft Products and Tools DVD 3 (ISO images of Longhorn x86/x64).

I've tried installing Longhorn 5048 in Virtual PC 7 but it will not work. I'll try VMWare next and then just parition the laptop if it comes to that. Astonishing that Microsoft's own product doesn't work however.

They're letting people into the keynote theatre at 9:30 to 9:40, so I've got over an hour and a half to make this work.

A Microsoft source just told me how to enable DCE in Longhorn 5048. Turns out they couldn't take it out because it broke stuff, so they just hid it. I'll take pictures if I get it working.

The Gates keynote is over. Nothing dramatic over my ealier preview. However, I'd like to highlight one very important fact you'll not find out about elsewhere: That Longhorn UI that was shown off today was not the final UI, which will be much more impressive. We'll see that at the PDC this September, I'm told.

A few highlights from the keynote:

XP x64 and Windows Server 2003 x64 are now available.

Gates never said "640KB is enough for anyone."

Some auxiliary displays on 2006-7 era notebooks and Tablet PCs will feature color screens similar to those on Pocket PCs.

Gates showed off a 9-inch Tablet PC-like device that he called Ultra Mobile 2007. It won't be shipping until Longhorn.

Some Longhorn features will be back-ported to Win32 (and not be made available only through WinFX), which was unexpected. Very little was said about this, however.

Longhorn end-to-end experiences will include data visualization & organization (which was demonstrated), true mobility, "it just works," security, computing for everyone, sharing & collaboration, and digital entertainment everywhere.

The Longhorn demos weren't particularly spectacular. Microsoft should have noted that the UI wasn't the final one. OS X fans will jeer at the quality of the Longhorn display that was showed off, for example.

The Longhorn delivery timeline has been adjusted yet again: Beta 1 will ship this summer, followed by a second developer preview in September at the PDC. Beta 2 will ship after that, at which time Longhorn builds will be offered to the public. Longhorn is now due in time for Holiday 2006, and not for mid-2006 as previously planned.

This wasn't discussed at the keynote, but I've heard from sources that Office 12 will now ship before Longhorn in mid-2006. To meet this new deadline, all Longhorn-related features will be removed and shipped separately to Office 12 customers after Longhorn ships. You heard that here first.


I've posted a number of updates to the SuperSite. Not sure when they'll be live.


Neowin's Tom Warren is here.


The codename of that Ultra Mobile 2007 device is Haiku.


Longhorn build 5048 will not install on an empty virtual PC in either Virtual PC or VMWare, I've learned.

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