Microsoft Announces 2006 Target Date for Broad Availability of Windows “Longhorn” Client Operating System

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 27, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will target broad availability of the Windows client operating system code-named “Longhorn” in 2006, and make key elements of the Windows WinFX TM developer platform in “Longhorn” available for Windows XP and Windows Server TM 2003.

“Longhorn” will deliver major improvements in user productivity, important new capabilities for software developers, and significant advancements in security, deployment and reliability.

“Getting ‘Longhorn’ to customers in 2006 will provide important advances in performance, security and reliability, and will help accelerate the creation of exciting new applications by developers across the industry,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect.

Microsoft will deliver a Windows storage subsystem, code-named “WinFS,” after the “Longhorn” release. The new storage system provides advanced data organization and management capabilities and will be in beta testing when the “Longhorn” client becomes available.

“Weve heard loud and clear from customers that they want improved productivity, easier deployment, increased reliability and enhanced security, as well as the many innovations weve been working on. Weve had to make some trade-offs to deliver the features corporate customers, consumers and OEMs are asking for in a reasonable time frame,” said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. “Our long-term vision for the Windows platform remains the same.”

“The announcements Microsoft is making today will accelerate our adoption of ‘Longhorn.’ We expect to see significant business benefits from improving productivity, higher security and the overall focus on fundamentals,” said Jeff Truax, director of IT for Frontier Airlines Inc.

At a meeting today with several hundred of the companys top developer evangelists from around the world, Microsoft also announced that the Windows WinFX developer technologies, including the new presentation subsystem code-named “Avalon” and the new communication subsystem code-named Indigo, will be made available for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in 2006. This availability will expand the scope of opportunity for developers by enabling them to write applications that can run on hundreds of millions of PCs, resulting in enhanced experiences for users of those operating systems.

“‘Avalon’ and ‘Indigo’ will allow us to build some exciting applications for our design and life-cycle management customers. Making ‘Avalon’ and ‘Indigo’ available on Windows XP as well as ‘Longhorn’ will allow us to think about exploiting these technologies sooner,” said Scott Borduin, chief technology officer of Autodesk Inc.

“Bringing the core of the new WinFX platform down to Windows XP and Windows 2003 will allow WinFX applications to target a much larger installed base, making it a much more attractive platform for our education software,” said Leslie House, vice president of Vivendi Universal Games Knowledge Adventure Studio.

“Avalon” is the graphics subsystem that will enable developers to build applications that provide breakthrough user experiences.

“Indigo” is a new approach to building and running connected systems built from the ground up around a Web services-oriented architecture. The advanced Web services support in “Indigo” will enable more secure, reliable and transacted messaging and greater interoperability.

Todays announcements relate only to the “Longhorn” client operating system. Anticipated availability for the Windows “Longhorn” Server operating system continues to be 2007.

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