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VCSY - A Laughing Place #2
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
Forget the bipolar bears, it's the icebergs that will get us.
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: 'North to Santa Barbara' World situation heats up for eskimos in the sun light.
Topic: The Sneaky Runarounds


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.



May 25, 2007

Longhorn Reloaded: Nostalgia Run Amok
Filed under: Windows Vista
Posted by Randall Kennedy on May 25, 2007 08:28 AM


...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 [1] is "What's Next" Should Be "What's Now" from February 2004 by Joe Wilcox, then a writer for Jupiter Research.

The next [2] 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 [3] 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

To Wit:



February 25, 2004
By Joe Wilcox
"What's Next" Should Be "What's Now"

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
By Joe Wilcox
Longhorn Reloaded

About two months ago, I started warning folks to watch for a major Windows Longhorn retrenchment in early 2004. I had expected Microsoft to seriously rethink its larger Longhorn strategy and make changes potentially as colossal as .Net. Around the beginning of the millennium, Microsoft made .Net into a "bet the company" strategy, but later backed away from its boldest ambitions: Moving into the subscription content and Web services market. Microsoft execs also have talked about betting the company on Longhorn.

I would consider last week’s Windows XP Reloaded announcement the first step in the Longhorn retrenchment process.

Longhorn is Microsoft’s boldest Windows upgrade plan since the company abandoned Cairo about a decade ago. The products share many similar design goals. But Longhorn’s delivery schedule--I’ve been saying no sooner than 2006--has been looking increasingly difficult to meet. As I blogged last week, Microsoft has too many pieces to put into place to realistically meet 2006; similarly, I see the colossal number of changes coming in Windows XP Service Pack 2 as giving businesses plenty of behavioral and software changes to contend with. SP2 could further slow Windows XP upgrades.

Already, slow upgrades have plagued Windows XP. As I blogged before (here, here and here), Microsoft hasn’t effectively evangelized Windows XP. That’s not a good situation, considering the growing hype around Linux. I would consider any company using older Windows versions--that’s one in five large businesses running version 95 somewhere--as candidates for Linux experimentation.

How much or how little a threat Linux poses to Windows is a topic for an upcoming report. Whether Linux is or is not a threat is immaterial; Microsoft clearly perceives a threat. In the latter 1990s, I doubted that Netscape could steal Microsoft’s operating system crown, but Microsoft saw enough of a threat to set off the so-called browser wars.

With Linux a perceived threat now in the backdrop of slow Windows XP conversions, Microsoft has plenty of good reasons to turn up the hype around its current OS and turn down the volume on Longhorn. Microsoft also has to be concerned too much Longhorn hype could further stall Windows XP upgrades. Worse, Longhorn will usher in so many changes, many businesses might further stall upgrades.

If the company looks seriously at the failure of Windows XP evangelism, the perceived Linux threat and Longhorn’s ambitious design goals, strategy retrenchment is a sensible approach.

Some news reports already are talking about XP Reloaded leading to a delay in Longhorn’s delivery. But, I see that as having been an inevitable outcome for some time. I would look for Microsoft to either push out Longhorn’s release or deliver a less ambitious upgrade within the original schedule. At least, those are two options I would recommend the company consider.

Posted by Joe Wilcox at March 03, 2004 09:53 AM






By: ajax203
04 Jun 2006, 06:09 PM EDT
Msg. 160258 of 186163

[a] excerpted:

One thing to think about. Tim Bray made his SOA BS comment public in his blog here:
The End of SOA
Updated: 2006/04/18

(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.)

[b] excerpted:

March 29, 2006
Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. Receives a Notice of Allowance From The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office For a Patent Application Covering Various Aspects Of The XML Enabler Agent ...



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
There’s more than one way to reload Longhorn
Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 4:37 am

The folks over at aren’t the only ones with “Longhorn” nostalgia.

Enthusiasts over at the site also are looking to bring back Longhorn, a k a, the precursor to the Windows Vista release that Microsoft launched in January 2007.

The Longhorn Reloaded team is looking to ressurect and retrofit a 2004 pre-release version of Windows so that it can be used as an alternative to Windows Vista.

The AeroXP “Vista Customization Square”/Retrophase team is looking to bring the existing Vista Aero interface to a pre-Longhorn-Reset version of Windows.

Incubating in our very forums is a project called ‘Retrophase.’ Think the reverse of ‘Longhorn Reloaded.’ Instead of bringing Windows Vista capabilities to the rotting Longhorn 4074 platform, the community is bringing Longhorn goodness to the shiny new Windows Vista platform,” blogged AeroXP member Rafael Rivera.

The Longhorn Reloaded effort kicked off in earnest last October; Retrophase started in June 2006. Last week, the Longhorn Reloaded team announced it had achieved Milestone 1 along its internally-set release timetable.

The existence of both of these projects raises a number of questions:

  • Once Microsoft “abandons” a code base, is it fair game for developers to use that code base to build a new product/technology? (I doubt Microsoft considers the Longhorn client code to be “abandonware,” as one member of suggested, but this is still an interesting point to ponder….)

  • If Microsoft doesn’t “release” code — under some kind of open/quasi-open-source license as a platform atop which developers are encouraged to tinker — as was the case with, say, Visual FoxPro (the basis for Sedna/SednaX) –can the code still be used in that way?

  • Would Microsoft be open to the “community” keeping a discontinued/older code base alive? (The Visual FoxPro folks are requesting an answer on this very issue right now, with their call for Microsoft to release the FoxPro source code so that the community can keep continue to update it.)


What is “intellectual property” children? Is it work done? Or ideas acquired and kept locked up?

Or is it something intangible like “ownership”. It appears, no matter which way Microsoft turns on this question, the wolves have the buffaloes surrounded and are now nipping at those hooved feet to bring the big boys down.




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 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.

What if:

* 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:

Posted by Portuno Diamo at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007 3:43 PM EDT
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