Log of Microsoft/Neowin/Stardock chat regarding PDC and Longhorn..
On the last day of the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference, Stardock's Brad Wardell, Jed and Jana from Microsoft and Creamhackered from Neowin hosted a Neowin.net live chat to answer questions and provide information on Longhorn, the next version of Windows due out in 2006.
[Brad Wardell] This week is PDC. This is a show where Microsoft is showing off the big
technologies in Longhorn.
[Brad Wardell] Longhorn is the code-name of the next version of Windows which is due
either in late 2005 or early 2006 prsently.
[Brad Wardell] At PDC, Microsoft introduced a set of core pricniples about longhorn that
NEowin users will probably find particularly interesting.
[Brad Wardell] They are:
[Brad Wardell] 1) Avalon and Aero
[Brad Wardell] This is the one most Neowin users will find particularly spectacular.
[Brad Wardell] Avalon is built around a new video compositer. TO make a long story short,
there is no more 2D/3D.
[Brad Wardell] It's ALLLL 3D!
[Brad Wardell] Anyway, now you have Direct3D to power your desktop.
[mh508> i guess it would make things faster...
[Brad Wardell] Which means much much faster performance and a whole range of new abilities
that can be used to create a more impressive experience.
[Brad Wardell] The new UI is called Aero. And Aero is the biggest GUI departure since
[Brad Wardell] The big thing about using Direct3D is that it's all handled by the video
[Brad Wardell] Right now, eye candy on the dekstop can use a lot of CPU.
[DELTA75329> [Brad Wardell] We've all seen complaints about how software (including ours) can slow
down the systme in some cases.
[Brad Wardell] That's because of GDI.
[DELTA75329> [Brad Wardell] But with Longhorn , it'll all be handled by the video card. So in essence,
you get all these cool effects for free.
[Brad Wardell] So what kind of effects? Shadows, window morphing, and various transitions.
You can do some of this now IF you have a good video card (nivida/ATI) with progrmas
like WindowFX (plug: https://www.stardock.com/products/windowfx)
[Brad Wardell] But that is just scratching the surface of what Avalon will allow.
[Brad Wardell] What this means for users and developers is a great deal mroe flexibility
in creating user interfaces that match the information being presented.
[Dalius> Longhorn is doing what Apple did with OSX way back when
[Dalius> Windows should have done this alooong time ago
[Brad Wardell] This leads us to a technology Microsoft introduced on Monday: XAML.
[Brad Wardell] Think of XAML as XML but for application design. Because AValon allows
such flexibility for ifnormation display, it makes sense to make it muche asier
for software developers to be able to present their information.
[Brad Wardell] Example: In XAML, the TRANSPARENCY of a given thing is right apart of
the RGB vfalue. It's like ORPG (Opacity, RPG).
[Brad Wardell] Now, what's cool about XAML is that it blends the web and programs together.
[Brad Wardell] Thinka bout what that means, developers will be able to blur the line
between programs and web sites.
[Brad Wardell] Right now, you try to make a program with an HTML interface and it kind
[Brad Wardell] But with XAML based user intefaces, it's totally seamless. It'll feel
like a "native" program.
[Brad Wardell] Which then gets to Indigo. Indigo is a technology that Microsoft is introducing
that handles all kinds of communication services. What Microsoft seems interstesd
in doing is providinig a way for users and develoeprs to *seamlessly* interact with
remote devices as ifthey were local.
[Brad Wardell] All of this is part of a new API that is being called WinFX.
[Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] I wonder if some people will write websites in XAML instead
of HTML, just for the fun of it. I will.
[mh508> gotta love stardockers
[Brad Wardell] WinFX in Longhorn so far is kind of a managed API layer. Managed APIs
have a lot of advantages along with potential disadantages. From STardocks' opoint
of view, there are still some things to be worked out in how to handle managed APIS.
[Dessimat0r> the blokes at W3C will keel over if you write sites in XAML
[Brad Wardell] So, what does that mean?
[Brad Wardell] Well, in Windows 3.1 you had "Win16". Windows NT 3.1 in 1993 introduced
[Brad Wardell] That's what we use today, Win32 for most things.
[Brad Wardell] Now, some parts of Microsoft are approaching WinFX in different ways (notable
the DirectX team But in the end, the idea is to make the system
much mroe secure, stable and backward compatible going forward.
[Brad Wardell] For third party developers like Stardock, it means being able to write
software that can do incredibly cool things.
[Xeo> well, it's a great news
[DELTA75329> So longhorn is going to be like XP? A must-have upgrade??
[Xeo> I suppose
[Brad Wardell] What we are still hpoing to do is convince Microsoft of the need to allow
extensibility to managed APIs. To allow developers to add base OS features.
[Brad Wardell] Well, by 2006, I would say that Longhorn will be pretty killer.
[Brad Wardell] Consider this: Right now you're all almost certianly running at 96 dots
per inch on yur screen.
[Brad Wardell] By 2006, your displays will be like 4000x3200 or something.
[Brad Wardell] That means that either everythign will be tiny.
[Brad Wardell] OR things must be a lot bigger.
[Brad Wardell] To do that, Avalon is ** VECTOR BASED** instead of bitmap bassed.
[Brad Wardell] So you'll be able to hav eincredibly cool screens.
[Brad Wardell] IN fact, the longhorn demos at PDC are nothign compared to what's coming.
Because those demos have to be done at 1024x768 .
[Brad Wardell] But imagine a vector drawn desktop at 4000x3200.
[Brad Wardell] How slick will that be?
[Brad Wardell] It'll be so smooth.
End of first 15 minutes of the chat. Now we enter into the Q & A more.
[ 9:16pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]hi everyone. i'm Jed from MS
[ 9:16pm ] [Brad Wardell] I figure 26 inch flat screen sill be normal by then.
[ 9:16pm ] [Yvo> boy 4000x32000... i can't hardly read my 1920xsomething WUXGA screen
[ 9:16pm ] [Dessimat0r> yeah, but surely you will lose vector detail, the more a
vector image is enlarged?
[ 9:16pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]wanted to add to Brad's observation that Longhorn will be
optimized for widescreen monitors
[ 9:16pm ] [William> ok, thx
[ 9:16pm ] [Brad Wardell] 16x9.
[ 9:17pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]hence the sidebar won't be intrusive at all
[ 9:17pm ] [Pike> vectors like flash uses?
[ 9:17pm ] [mh508> actually 16:9
[ 9:17pm ] [Brad Wardell] Now, for thrird parties like us, let me give you an example
what we can do today with Windows XP and then talk about what Longhorn will be able
[ 9:17pm ] [Xeo> Q: Do you know if the side bar will be more usefull than now?
[ 9:17pm ] [Brad Wardell] Check out this video:
[ 9:17pm ] [Brad Wardell] https://www.stardock.com/video/dxneowin2.wmv
[ 9:17pm ] [Brad Wardell] This is a demo of DesktopX 2 creating a Neowin news ticker.
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] Now, right now, programs like DekstopX, Samurize, etc. use
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] But with managed APIs, using C# or XAML, developers will be
able to access a LOT more services right from their scripts.
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] Think about what you could do then. All kinds of coolness.
[ 9:18pm ] [DELTA75329> darnit.. what was that URL again?
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] Or imagine being able to tap into all the features of Direct3D
right from a script.
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] https://www.stardock.com/video/dxneowin2.wmv
[ 9:18pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]the sidebar i have seen has rss capabilities and contact
list capabilities- i imagine you will see more customized options emerge (much like
the path activeDesktop was once going down)
[ 9:18pm ] [Brad Wardell] Or imagine being able to use vectors intea dof just .PNG files
like we do today.
[ 9:19pm ] [Brad Wardell] Exactly.
[ 9:19pm ] [Brad Wardell] Anyway, it's probably my turn to hand it over to someone else.
But I'll be here to answer any questions you mgiht have.
[ 9:19pm ] [Chris123NT> Don't compare active desktop to longhorn, active desktop
was slow, and it sucked
[ 9:19pm ] [Chris123NT>
[ 9:19pm ] [Xeo> thanks Frogboy!
[ 9:19pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]
[ 9:19pm ] [Brad Wardell] Yea, there's nothing quite like AValon right now.
[ 9:19pm ] [Voodoo> Thanks Brad, dont forget this will all be transcripted by Cream
if anyone has missed anything
[ 9:19pm ] [Yvo> active desktop was developed when we were running 233mhz desktops
[ 9:19pm ] [Brad Wardell] Hopefully Edited too.
[ 9:19pm ] [Redmak> Coll video btw
[ 9:20pm ] [Trunten> so Frogboy, are you actually in possesion of Longhorn right
now and using it?
[ 9:20pm ] [Redmak> cool
[ 9:20pm ] [Brad Wardell] 4051 was given out at PDC.
[ 9:20pm ] [Brad Wardell] (buidl 4051).
[ 9:20pm ] [Trunten> how do you know all this stuff?
[ 9:20pm ] [Brad Wardell] What they showed there was a different build on the screen.
[ 9:20pm ] [Ciderx> thanks Brad, some things you mentioned there were explained
far better than some of the MS sites explain it.
[ 9:20pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] XAML r0x0rs your b0x0rs. Will be fun to learn
it. Too bad there's no standalone renderer to keep me from booting into 4051
[ 9:20pm ] [Brad Wardell] Stardock = Microsoft partner.
[ 9:20pm ] [Demogorgon> thank you brad good info
[ 9:20pm ] [Chris123NT> frogboy 4050 was on the demo screens
[ 9:20pm ] [Brad Wardell] Thanks. Let's turn this over tocreamhackered for the next portion.
Creamhackered on Windows Security:
[ 9:20pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] OK I'm gonna take over from brad and talk a little about
the future of XP/Server 2003 and how this will effect Longhorn come Summer 2004
[ 9:21pm ] [DELTA75329> And longhorn is supposed to build on this type of experience?
[ 9:22pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Many of you will have heard about "springboard" the logical
step towards Longhorn creating a way of securing XP/Server 2003 that little more
but might not know exactly how this will change Longhorn
[ 9:22pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Longhorn is due to debut in beta form by christmas and
is expected to ship before Beta 1 of Longhorn in Summer 2004.
[ 9:22pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Springboard rather
[ 9:23pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Springboard will be the test for Longhorn and Microsoft's
future security plan
[ 9:24pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Some of the upcoming security features in Longhorn will
be put into SP2 creating a way for Microsoft to test the security of Longhorn in
a working environment
[ 9:24pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] What will this mean for end users?
[ 9:24pm ] [Timan> Frogboy, that icon app you demo'd off in the video when is that
due for a release?
[ 9:24pm ] [Brad Wardell] Timan: It's on Object Desktop now. But it's still beta, should
be available stand alone next month.
[ 9:25pm ] [Timan> thanks
[ 9:25pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] End users will get a greater firewall with outbound scanning,
Windows Update 5, better memory management to prevent more "Blaster" attacks and
new remote desktop features
[ 9:25pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] all of the above features will go into Longhorn for Beta
[ 9:26pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] almost immediately after enterprises have deployed SP2,
Longhorn will be going into Beta stage with most code across the OS complete
[ 9:27pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] the official time frame is "Mid 2004" accroding to Microsoft
[ 9:27pm ] [William> the origional idea of a GUI was from Xerox wasn't it?
[ 9:28pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]yes
[ 9:28pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]the original idea for GUI was from Xerox Parc
[ 9:28pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]the computer was called the Alto
[ 9:28pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Microsoft are working towards a much more secure OS by
using existing Operating Systems such as Server 2003 and XP as a test stage for
some of the key securities in Longhorn
[ 9:29pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] The idea of Longhorn is to connect devices, people and
[ 9:29pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] But in a secure environment
[ 9:29pm ] [Brad Wardell] For example, managed code is just that - it's designed to be
[ 9:29pm ] [Brad Wardell] But people here at Neowin.net use dekstop enhancements a lot.
[ 9:29pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] This so far in current operating systems has prooved
a tricky and troublesome task in some cases but Longhorn WILL change this
[ 9:29pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] Beta 1 will probably not feature complete. At
least WinFS will only be feature complete for beta 2 according to their MSDN site.
[ 9:30pm ] [Brad Wardell] So obviously there will be a lot of question about how will
third parties extend the base OS feature set. Will a program, for example, like
CursorXP be able to be done on Longhorn without having to write a driver.
[ 9:30pm ] [Webgraph> Yeah, I just gave Longhorn a test drive on my system and good
lord, it's slow. Then again, the minimum system requirements is a 600 MHz processor
and I only got a 500 MHz OC'd to a 550.
[ 9:30pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]right, so Longhorn is designed for hardware that will be
commonplace in 2005/2006
[ 9:30pm ] [Spyntek> Microsoft said that when longhorn does comeout, most computers
will be running with much more memory and faster processors
[ 9:31pm ] [Brad Wardell] It'll get a lot better as time goes on.
[ 9:31pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] WinFX is at the core of Longhorn and will help secure
[ 9:31pm ] [Webgraph> Chances are that by the time Longhorn is released, a 2 GHz
processor will be necessary. So I'll probably stick with my Windows 2000.
[ 9:31pm ] [Spyntek> WINFS will run atop NTFS or Fat32
[ 9:31pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] No, it wont run on FAT32
[ 9:32pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=111679
[ 9:32pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] More about WinFS there
[ 9:32pm ] [Webgraph> I'll be typing up a review sometime soon, so stay tuned.
[ 9:32pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] Well, I've been told by a dev in the newsgroups
that NTFS is a premise.
[ 9:32pm ] [Spyntek> it isn't supposed to replace NTFS
[ 9:33pm ] [Spyntek> just run alongside it
[ 9:33pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Now as for security from now onwards we have to look
towards technologies such as WinFS and Indigo
[ 9:33pm ] [Brad Wardell] Okay, WinFS is NOT a file system.
[ 9:33pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]right, its NOT a file system
[ 9:33pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] WinFS needs NTFS and doesnt run on FAT
[ 9:33pm ] [Brad Wardell] Think about it like this:
[ 9:33pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Indigo isn't well documented currently by Microsoft and
is largely being revealed @ PDC
[ 9:33pm ] [Brad Wardell] WinFS will treat data -- all data, like a big database.
[ 9:34pm ] [Brad Wardell] So you'll be able to deal with your stuff based on what it's
about rather than worry about physical file locations.
[ 9:34pm ] [Spyntek> all these new filing systems will make it easier to find documents
and databases stored not only on your computer, but on other networked computers
[ 9:34pm ] [Brad Wardell] Which is really important because think about it -- rightn
ow 250 GIG hard drives are common. By 2006 they'll be 5 Terrabytes.
[ 9:34pm ] [William> says disabled
[ 9:34pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]WinFS is very impressive- I'll give you all an example of
what it can do
[ 9:34pm ] [Brad Wardell] The day of being able to do a search for neo*.doc on the hard
drive is over. We gotta move beyond that.
[ 9:35pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]if you have a digital picture, today you make three copies
and store it in different folders for different uses. (Friends folder, My folder,
Sports Folder). Now you can link that one file to the three different categories
without having to make copies of it
[ 9:35pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]Saves a lot of disk space
[ 9:35pm ] [Brad Wardell] You'll still have file extensions.
[ 9:36pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] File extensions will be required for legacy applications,
but file dialogs in Longhorn can decide how the system is supposed to show you the
files. File dialogs will be able to construct different names on the fly based on
metadata and hide the real filenam
[ 9:37pm ] [Brad Wardell] I'm not sure exactly hwo they're going to store the "metadata"
for lack of a better term. It could be part of WinFS or maybe it'll be integrated
into the NTFS streams, I'm only speculating right now.
[ 9:38pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] Metadata is going to be stored into tables in
the WinFS store. It's derived from Yukon afterall.
[ 9:38pm ] [Brad Wardell] matt: That's a tough question to answer because there are two
long hornb uilds.
[ 9:38pm ] [StinkerInker> Q: the aero demo shown at the pdc, thats more the old
plex theme style, right?
[ 9:38pm ] [Brad Wardell] 4051 is the build that PDC people are getting. That was a special
build that is really from June.
[ 9:38pm ] [Brad Wardell] Where they froze it up so that developers could start playign
aroudn ith the new development features.
[ 9:38pm ] [Brad Wardell] What they showed on the screen is different.
[ 9:39pm ] [Brad Wardell] Plex and all that are likely just stand-ins.
[ 9:39pm ] [ultimaweaponff72003> Q: So will there be 2 copies of the metadata? one
in the database, and one in the file in case you copy it to someone else? if there
is only one copy in the database, what happens if the database dies? 2 copies sounds
like a waste of space!
[ 9:39pm ] [Brad Wardell] Remember, in Longhorn, it will be all vector based.
[ 9:40pm ] [Brad Wardell] ultima: I'm ot sure. I think that is still in motion anyway
because performance and security and stability will be the 3 variables theyhave
to play with.
[ 9:41pm ] [StinkerInker> Q: so 4051 is way dated already?
[ 9:41pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]Yes
[ 9:41pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] DragonSoul: Yes, those folders are called dynamic
sets, and you can instruct Longhorn to save those sets for reuse.
[ 9:41pm ] [Brad Wardell] 4051 was designed for developers.
[ 9:41pm ] * Radish™ has joined
[ 9:41pm ] [Jed from Microsoft]I'm running 4052.. And *thats* probably dated too by now
[ 9:41pm ] [Brad Wardell] Stardock hopes to have WindowBlinds 4.2 working on Longhorn
by mid November.
[ 9:42pm ] [system32> Q: What's this that I hear is a replacement for Win32? What
is it called and what added functionality does it provide? If the answer is WinFS
than just ignore my question
[ 9:42pm ] [Brad Wardell] WinFX is the replacement for Win32.
[ 9:42pm ] [Brad Wardell] It is a new set of APIs that replaces Win32 plus handles the
other new technologies in Longhorn.
[ 9:42pm ] [Brad Wardell] For one thing, all the APIs in WinFX are managed APIs.
[ 9:42pm ] [DELTA75329> WinFX is different from WinFS? How so?
[ 9:42pm ] [Brad Wardell] Which means they're more secure.
[ 9:43pm ] [Brad Wardell] WinFS deals with storage and information management. It's not
[ 9:43pm ] [DragonSoull> Q: But will Win32 still be there to be used?
[ 9:43pm ] [Brad Wardell] Win32 programs will still work justl ike Win16 programs still
worked in Windows 95.
[ 9:43pm ] [duva_Ben> Is Longhorn really better than OS X (Panther) in terms of
speed, user interface ?
[ 9:44pm ] [Brad Wardell] duva_Ben: Longhorn is still 3 years off.
[ 9:44pm ] [Brad Wardell] So it's not really fair to compare OS X today with Longhorn.
[ 9:45pm ] [Brad Wardell] I will say this though: OS X does not have a WinFS equivalent
that I'm aware of.
[ 9:45pm ] [Brad Wardell] It's wayy too early to evaluate WinFS.
[ 9:45pm ] [Brad Wardell] A lot of the techs are very early still.
[ 9:47pm ] [ikari87> Q: Will there finally be the 3D user interface???
[ 9:47pm ] [Brad Wardell] It won't be 3D in the sense of Halflife.
[ 9:47pm ] [StinkerInker> lol
[ 9:47pm ] [Brad Wardell] But it'll be 3D in the sense that windows will be meshes with
textures and such.
[ 9:48pm ] [Brad Wardell] So if they make this sort of thing extensible for third parties,
can you imagine the kinds of customization you'll be able to do?
[ 9:48pm ] [x0r4h> who is the microsoft community rep here?
[ 9:48pm ] [Voodoo> Jana_MS is
[ 9:48pm ] [Creamhackered from Neowin] Jana_MS is representing the Microsoft community
[ 9:48pm ] [Brad Wardell] Think of all the cool alternative ways of managing your information,
your apps, your screen, espeically on a wide screen display if "skinning" is all
handled by Direct3D rather than messing with GDI.
[ 9:49pm ] [Funk_Dok> Q: Does Longhorn include a 64 bit processor support?
[ 9:49pm ] [Brad Wardell] I think that's safe to say.
[ 9:50pm ] [Brad Wardell]When you take WinFS and mix it with Indigo, all kind sof things
become possible. Where local files and external resources (PDAs, Media players,
etc.) will all be able to be treated just like any other resource and displayed
[ 9:51pm ] [Brad Wardell] Like right now, when I make a post here at Neowin, my screenshot
I might use might be at home or at the office. With Windows XP, I have to "remember"
where I put it. Under Longhorn, it won't MATTER where that file is. It'll display
under my screenshots "folder".
[ 9:52pm ] [system32> frogboy - very interesting is there a place to read more on
[ 9:52pm ] [Brad Wardell] By 2006, we'll have incredibly fast net connections.
[ 9:52pm ] [JK1150> chacho; i think that eye candy is the next step for windows.
accessibility to your documents and a more user friendly based interface on top
of the reliability i've seen from XP, you got an amazing product
[ 9:52pm ] [Brad Wardell] system32: I'll try to write up some of this stuff on Neowin
or on JoeUser.com (probably both).
[ 9:53pm ] [duva_Ben> =SCREEN SHOTS= http://msdn.microsoft.com/Longhorn/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnaero/html/samplerintro.asp#samplerintro_topic1
[ 9:53pm ] [ultimaweaponff72003> Q: But if the winfs uses 'folders', I don't understand
what is so different about it?
[ 9:53pm ] [Brad Wardell] In XP, "Folders" are just directories on your hard disk.
[ 9:53pm ] [Jemm> ultima: the physical location of the data won't matter with winfs
[ 9:54pm ] [JK1150> chacho, accessibility and a user friendly interface is basically
the only "eye candy" you will see in longhorn
[ 9:54pm ] [Brad Wardell] Whereas in Longhorn, a folder called "Pictures of my kid" might
have pictures that come from my PDA, my laptop, my work machine, and anywhere else
that I have access to where the image has been classified as a picture of my kids.
[ 9:54pm ] [Jean-Claude_Van_Damme] There will be classic folders in WinFS, which
serve as basic organization means. The folders Frogboy meant are static and dynamic
sets, kinda like filters over the data.
[ 9:55pm ] [ultimaweaponff72003> Ah, I get that bit
[ 9:55pm ] [Brad Wardell] Indeed, the eye candy isn't so much about showing "gee-wiz"
stuff but demonstrating that the *presentation* of information to a user will no
longer be limited so much by performance considerations.
[ 9:55pm ] [Brad Wardell] I could make, for exmaple, a user itnerface that is a book
metaphor with turning pages when that makes sense.
[ 9:55pm ] [Brad Wardell] Right now, you really couldn't do it, not without it looking
crummy and slow.
[ 9:55pm ] [Brad Wardell] It's safe to say that based on what we're seeing at PDC, there's
a lot to be excited about with Longhorn. It won't be out for at least a couple of
years yet but the cool stuff coming from Microsoft is pretty exciting.