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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, August 30, 2004

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In the News

- NEWS FLASH: Microsoft Will Ship Pared-Down Longhorn in 2006
- Local California Governments Sue Microsoft

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

NEWS FLASH: Microsoft Will Ship Pared-Down Longhorn in 2006

Microsoft contacted me Friday afternoon to inform me that the company will ship Longhorn, its next major Windows release, in 2006, as previously planned. And although the company hasn't offered many specific details about how it plans to meet this suddenly aggressive ship date, one major feature, WinFS, won't be included in Longhorn, and two other features, Avalon and Indigo, will ship separately for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Thus, the Longhorn we'll get in 2006 won't be as full-featured as we originally expected. Houston, I think we have a problem.
"With the shipment of Windows XP Service Pack 2 this month, Microsoft is now finalizing plans for how and when to deliver Longhorn," a Microsoft representative told me Friday. "As a result, the company announced today it is now targeting 2006 for Longhorn to be broadly available. Longhorn will deliver major improvements in user productivity, important new capabilities for software developers, and significant enhancements in security, deployment, and reliability.
"Microsoft will release the new Windows storage subsystem, codenamed WinFS, after the Longhorn release. WinFS is expected to be in beta when the Longhorn client becomes available. The Windows WinFX developer technologies, including the new presentation subsystem codenamed Avalon and the new communication subsystem code-named Indigo, will be made available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in 2006. Longhorn server is still expected to be available in 2007."
Obviously, this change marks a major departure for the software giant, which had previously pledged to make Longhorn its most impressive Windows update ever. However, since announcing these early, lofty goals, the company has steadily missed deadlines and restarted Longhorn-related projects. Just this month, for example, the core Windows team gave up its plan to make the Windows Server-based Longhorn source code component-based and literally started over from scratch using the XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) code base. That change alone would have delayed Longhorn for several months had the company tried to continue its original rollout plans.
For more information about the Longhorn schedule and the features that will or won't be included in the product's initial release, refer to the SuperSite for Windows. The article "The Road to Windows 'Longhorn' 2004" discusses these topics in more depth. I'll update the article throughout the week.

Local California Governments Sue Microsoft

Four California city and county governments, including those of Los Angeles and San Francisco, sued Microsoft late last week for abusing its monopoly market power and overcharging them for Windows and various Microsoft Office products. The class-action lawsuit appears to emulate the successful class-action lawsuits that various US states brought against Microsoft in the wake of its US antitrust settlement. Thus far, Microsoft has paid almost $2 billion to settle those cases.
"\[Microsoft has\] violated the antitrust and unfair competition laws of the State of California," the class-action lawsuit reads. It also asks the courts to require that the company pay an unspecified amount for damages and return "profits reaped ... as a result of Microsoft's \[strategies\] to restrain trade, destroy competition, and monopolize the world markets for personal computer (PC) operating systems and word processing and spreadsheet software applications."
California's successful class-action suit against Microsoft covered businesses, consumers, and schools, but not governments. "When it became clear that governmental entities were going to be excluded from the \[California\] consumer class action \[against Microsoft, which is worth $1.1 billion\], it was incumbent on all of us to do whatever possible to protect our various municipalities," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.
The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and the counties of Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Mateo are suing Microsoft. The cities and counties are seeking to recoup some of the costs they paid for various Microsoft products between 1995 and 2001, when the company settled most of its antitrust lawsuits.
Microsoft says it provided great software solutions to the governments. "We value our relationship with these cities and have been grateful for the opportunity to provide them with software at very reasonable prices," a Microsoft spokesperson said Friday. The company is reviewing the lawsuit.

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