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Topic: The Sneaky Runarounds
SOME CLARITY FOR YOUR WATER?
The following dated fragments come from the Timeline Vershtinken (see sidebar) which is a compendium of only a few interesting coincidental datings clustered around Microsoft, their efforts toward a web-based client which never materialized, and VCSY intellectual property awards.
August 18, 2004 VCSY SiteFlash Patent allowance
(date approximated by subtracting example 104 day span on Enabler patent allowance/granted cycle)
[see March 28, 2006]
August 27, 2004 Longhorn rewrite announced. Winfs out of Longhorn.
November 11, 2004 Ballmer throws chair during meeting with Lucovsky
November 18, 2004 Ballmer accuses Linux of violating >258 patents
November 30, 2004 VCSY SiteFlash Patent granted
The marginalization of those developers who know what Longhorn was about (as opposed to “journalists” who write what they're told and don't bother looking into details) and what Microsoft intended Longhorn and all the other lost qualities that were to make up Vista, has begun.
...for some people the memories are so compelling that they simply don't know how to "let go." Take the case of the "Longhorn Reloaded" project. These poor souls are so tortured by Microsoft's decision to abandon portions of the original Windows "Longhorn" vision that they've taken it upon themselves to "complete" Microsoft's work by delivering a rogue version of the Windows OS they believe "Longhorn" could have become.
...Why? Why resurrect the unfinished code base of a BETA OS (LHR, as they call it, is based on the WinHEC 2004 pre-release build 4074) that Microsoft shelved over 3 years ago?
...folks... believe that Microsoft abandoned the "Longhorn" effort prematurely and that the product they delivered last year - Windows Vista - is a mere shadow of the original vision.
More at URL
Hmmm. Clever but not correct. It follows the Microsoft issued line of 2004 which has been shown to be self-serving and deflective.
Just to even the playing field, I thought I might take this opportunity to put a few surveyor spikes down so we can take at least a couple benchmarks to get a lay of the land, so to speak.
The first  is "What's Next" Should Be "What's Now" from February 2004 by Joe Wilcox, then a writer for Jupiter Research.
The next  regards “Longhorn Reloaded” from 2004. Longhorn reloaded is a curious phrase that happens to coincide with development of the cut versions of Microsoft Longhorn by outside developers over a recent seven (you read right 7) month period, achieving what Microsoft has not been able to accomplish in many years with very much money.
The next  is a Raging Bull VCSY Message Board post by myself (as Ajax203) writing at the time as Ajax203. My various usernames were necessary as numerous anti-VCSY posters infested the board and would goad others into arguments in order to have those posters removed by Raging Bull for violating Terms Of Service (TOS) conditions not connected with the discussion at hand. It's been guerilla posting on VCSY Raging Bull for seven (you read right 7) years with many of the original anti-VCSY people like DC-Steve and recy43 no longer operational under those names at least.
Why am I telling you this? Well, first, if you are a veteran of the posting wars, this is a set of triangulation markers so we can refresh our understanding as to what has taken place over the years.
If you are a newbie and don't know (probably don't really care except somebody shoved some info in your face and you're now curious) you've got a very long way to go before you will understand very much about what you're looking at. Lots of luck. You're going to need it. BUT, it may be some of the most valuable investigation and due diligence you will likely ever do.
yers truly - portuno
February 25, 2004
Once again, Microsoft is on the "What’s Next" trail instead of "What’s Now." Longhorn evangelism videos, here, show the next-generation Windows capabilities applied to healthcare and real estate; ...
...I see Microsoft as spending too much time talking about Longhorn when it’s Windows XP that matters right now. Two weeks ago, I blogged on the failure of Windows XP evangelism, after taking a cue from colleague Michael Gartenberg (here and here). Yesterday, I blogged about Microsoft’s stance on security, which, related to Longhorn evangelism, is about how new products will solve existing problems.
The "future products will solve your existing problems" message is well worn out by Microsoft.
More at URL
March 03, 2004
(content is a rant by Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems regarding SOA as “vendor bull****” in Tim's words. I am simply passing his views to you.)
More at URL
Mary Jo Foley appears to be following the Longhorn Reloaded activity in more than one place. Apparently there are a number of “nostalgic” developers out there who feel they were jilted by Microsoft's erasure of Longhorn history.
May 29th, 2007
What is “intellectual property” children? Is it work done? Or ideas acquired and kept locked up?
I suspect this Longhorn Reloaded issue will blow into quite a firestorm before long. It's better to be informed than ignorant and anyone who believes what was told them in 2004 should take a re-read to make sure they weren't the unwitting victim and participant in an old-school flim-flam.
January 23rd, 2007
Rewriting Vista history
Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 12:08 pm
What would have happened, on that fateful day of August 27, 2004, if Microsoft officials had said: "You know what? We messed up with Longhorn. And we're starting over."
Instead, as Microsoft historians know, Microsoft decided to cast its decision to gut the next version of Windows client as a "reset."
"We didn't do much — just took out WinFS, the Windows File System. Oh yeah — and back-port some of the stuff that was supposed to be exclusive to Longhorn to Windows XP. Other than that, it's full-steam ahead."
As Microsoft enthusiast Robert McLaws on Windows-Now.com notes, the Longhorn reset was really more of a do-over.
The Longhorn we first heard about as early as 2002 is not the Vista that Microsoft will launch next week on January 29. Fewer of the application-programming interfaces at its core are "managed," as opposed to "native," than Microsoft originally had hoped/expected. The integrated search is less capable and game-changing than the one Microsoft initially touted. In short, the product formerly code-named Longhorn is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
Like McLaws, I am not criticizing Microsoft for changing its course. I agree with him that the big mistake was not coming clean and admitting that Longhorn, as originally outlined, wasn't going to work. The stuff we saw at the Professional Developers Conference in 2003, which was Longhorn's first coming out party, looked snazzy. But Microsoft couldn't pull it off.
Being upfront about Longhorn — and, as McLaws also suggests — changing the code-name (Windows "Shorthorn," anyone?) to indicate it was not the same product could have changed the historical course and public perception of Windows Vista.
* the Vista development clock began ticking in August 2004, instead of August 2001? Microsoft could have claimed that Vista took just over two years (instead of five) to develop.
* Microsoft could have tabled WinFS sooner (and stopped spending countless cycles to get it to work well enough to make the centerpiece of Longhorn). The Softies could have sent WinFS to the SQL Server graveyard in 2004 instead of 2006.
* Microsoft could have dedicated some of its Windows development hands to Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 at an earlier point in time, thereby releasing the next XP service pack in 2005 or 2006, not in 2008.
Who knows … Microsoft might even have managed to get Vista out in time for the holiday 2006 buying season if the company had just been up front in 2004 that it was going to release a relatively minor, yet more stable, Windows upgrade two years on the heels of Windows XP SP2. (As Windows chief Jim Allchin himself has said, XP SP2 really was a new version of Windows, not just a traditional service pack.)
Sure it's a lot of should-have/could-have/would haves. But definitely something worth pondering on the eve of the Vista launch.
Update: McLaws has some comebacks on my what-if Vista-history timeline.
Things you need to ponder: http://vcsy.blogspot.com/2007/05/bits-and-bites.html