As some of my beloved readers thinks I can’t give credit to someone slapping Longhorn, here is an article from eweek:
This guy at least knows what Longhorn is and intend on being. A few comments though: (that’s why I have a blog you know, giving my opinion without anyone asking for it :-) )
Developers don't hunt for brilliant technology -- their instincts tell them to go to where the volume is, because that's where they can monetize part of that $80 billion.
I can’t disagree more strongly to that. Developers are just like flies. They go where the nice colored light bulb is, because they like it k00l, because they are g33ks. (I think Slashdot writes it like that).
Longhorn provides more than just APIs. It’s more than a platform. It’s an entry in the world where being cool is as important as being technically challenging. Why? Because even people typing all day on their computer like nifty funny user interfaces. It’s not only about technical excellence, it is about bringing back some cool experience on the windows platform.
If you think about it, Microsoft is pretty clever. They know they would have a hard time convincing terminal mode guys and linux aficionados from going full way into an OS. They know Java and Linux can provide data entry user interfaces. To keep their advantage on the desktop, they have to go somewhere else, somewhere where people enjoy the cool factor. This is your mother, you, your children, maybe even your dog. Anyone who just likes it cool. Apple survived because of that coolness factor and are building their whole product line on it. Microsoft started doing it with windows xp, as a form of “will it work?”. Now that they know it does, they are going there full time.
Curtis Sasaki [vice president of engineering, desktop solutions] is going to drive those priorities based on what customers tell us, not because I come in and say I have a vision of what is interesting that could be delivered. We don't run the company that way. I run the company based on what it's going to take to close [the sale with] the Indian Ministry of IT.
Now this is also where Microsoft and Sun differ a lot. Schzartz listen to consumers, and try to bring them exactly what they asked for, not more. Microsoft listen to their customer, but rather than trying to deliver features A and B, big teams are organized, design is done for the next 2 or 3 years, and A, B, C and D become part of a big plan, a big building block. This is what Indigo is, this is what Avalon is. This is looking into the future, not into what people want today.
Schwartz is absolutely right by saying that being an end node on the network is not enough. But now again, peer 2 peer technologies are there exactly to transform end nodes into central communicating nodes. And this is going to be integrated in windows. Just like JXTA is integrated in Java. (Stay tuned for my rants on the JXTA technology).
Yes, the PC is only one of the devices we’re using. But it’s the most powerful, the most connected, the one we’re the most used to. If you get it even more compelling by providing rich interactive fun clients to deal with data, and let it integrate with any device anywhere at any time (WinFS Sync), then you’ve got the killer app. People won’t abandon their PC to switch to Java phones. Ever.