Longhorn and Office 2003

Bill Gates writes about Microsoft’s new OS, which will be relased sometime in 2005-06:

we are moving to this Web services world–a loosely coupled, message-based breakthrough that computer scientists have dreamed of for decades–all of the things that let that be possible need to be in the $50 operating system. And so here we have Indigo, which will be in Windows and let you do transactions and queuing.

The person getting the benefit of those won’t know that that is going on. But you also get to use the great Avalon graphics and the ability to navigate information with WinFS. Application developers don’t have to duplicate those things, and yet there’s no cost to having those things be in the platform and one way of doing debugging and performance.

That’s the miracle of software, in terms of how we can get better and better things. So here we have something that was done through middleware coming into the system. We’ve seen that with media playback capabilities, with the browser, and that will continue…There is sort of that crowd that thinks that when the valuations broke that somehow technology advances wouldn’t come. There’s a general attitude now to not see that we will be delivering more software advances and productivity in this decade than we did in the last.

By knowing what Longhorn will look like, it will influence quite a bit of what people are doing today. For instance, the trend toward XML (Extensible Markup Language) Web services, as people use Indigo, built into the platform. That will reinforce the move toward Web services as people see all of the schematizing, the common information types for contacts, appointments, documents, annotation.

In another story, Fortune reviews Microsoft Office 2003, and suggests: “Office 2003 is an admirable upgrade to an already successful and popular program. Microsoft is going to spend half a billion dollars in coming months to persuade you to buy it, or upgrade to one of the 2003 versions. For most consumers, itll be a tough sell.” I am looking to buy a copy soon and check it out.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.