Longhorn wasn't the codename for Vista - that was a lie we told to cover the truth :) Longhorn was a massively ambitious upgrade to Windows XP that had a whole new relational DB file system (WinFS), managed memory graphics stack comparable to Flash (Avalon), and abstracted network layer (Indigo). The project didn't converge.
In late 2004 we cancelled the project and scrapped all the code we'd written since 2001. We forked Windows Server 2003, and reworked the specs to get the most bang for the buck on a limited time budget. Compromises like using a search index instead of a relational db filesystem, the sidebar was rewritten for the 3rd time, etc. All in all, it was an ok release considering.
Trivia. Longhorn was supposedly a completely new architecture. The filesystem was supposed to be SQL Server based plus other architectual astronautery. It was an executive dreamed clusterfuck with no technical merit. Quite similar to IBM's Workplace project, which also never came to fruition.
Both (Longhorn and Workplace) were the culmination of RDBMS hype, where companies left and right tried to solve every problem by using hammer as a tool of choice.
Back to Longhorn, it has been chronically late and finally the project got dumped and rebased upon NT stack. Thus Vista was indeed a rushed attempt of fixing the Longhorn fiasco and after that Win7 was a solution to the Vista fiasco.
Thus from the viewpoint of how bad it could (and indeed should) have been. Both Vista and Win7 were an exceptional success.
Also it made me really appreciate how nimble and agile Microsoft really is.
> Also it made me really appreciate how nimble and agile Microsoft really is.
XP released in 2001; Vista released in 2007, essentially an updated XP with some Aero bells and PMP whistles. That it was only started in 2005 after throwing away the Longhorn fiasco stuff does not make Microsoft "nimble" or "agile" in my opinion.
Most mega corps never recover from fuckups of this sort. Microsoft thus far has kept pulling them out of the hat.
MS is not agile in the same sense as your YC funded startup is. That would be comparing speedboats to super tankers and in the world of super tankers Microsoft is one of the super tankerest of them all.
Nokia, RIM, Boeing, HP, Yahoo and many others couldn't pull a single "pivot" out of the hat all the while Microsoft keeps on dancing.
They are far from my favorite companies, however Microsoft and IBM prove year by year that elephants can and do dance. And what a gracious waltz that is. For an elephant of course.
Vista was, ultimately, far less ambitious than Microsoft had intended for Longhorn -- which is why they essentially scrapped the project and started over in 2004 -- but it was still a quantum leap over XP from a technical perspective.
W7 is essentially a UI-updated and polished Vista (which is why the NT version number only bumped from NT6.0 to NT6.1), but even given the relatively incomplete state of Vista at launch, it was a huge step forward for Windows, and certainly more that "an updated XP with some Aero bells and PMP whistles."
> Windows Longhorn was the internal codename for Vista
That's a matter of perspective and spin. Vista is what was salvaged from Longhorn. The plans for Longhorn were much more ambitious.
> I think that you are thinking of Windows 7 being rushed, focused, and pragmatic fix to the fiasco that was Vista.
I doubt it, and it seems that cookingrobot knows what he's talking about here a lot more than you do. Windows 7 was the fix to the fix.
That Vista was a fiasco is debatable - the fact that with minor tweaks and smoothing out (Windows 7 is basically Vista Service pack 2) it was a hit suggests that despite the bad press that Vista got initially, it wasn't that bad.
That is very true. Re-reading cookingrobot's original comment I can know see that I misinterpreted his comment. I was thrown by the part where he wrote "don't remember Longhorn?" which made me think he was under the impression that Longhorn was a version of Windows released to consumers.
it seems that cookingrobot knows what he's talking about here a lot more than you do
This seems a bit rude? I can't quite put my finger on the reason why as it is a true statement - cookingrobot does sound like he knows the truth of the matter.