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Seven Longhorns to debut in May 2006?

Seven Longhorns to debut in May 2006? (Silicon)

This seems a rather unlikely story – unless, of course, Microsoft have changed their strategy again.

As I understood it, Windows XP was released in its two editions – Home and Professional – to end consumer confusion between the home and NT versions, particularly with reference to the confusion surrounding Windows ME and Windows 2000. If this is the case, then it seems a somewhat backward step to release seven versions of Longhorn. I’m not sure which version I’d have to run, and I’m reasonably computer literate.

At the same time, though, this would be a good move by Microsoft if it meant that the most basic version of Windows could be sold at a very low price, so that it could compete in that field for the home users that Linux and the like are trying to target, since these could become more of a threat over the next few years. And, of course, Microsoft has been shifting in this direction by adding two further editions of Windows XP to the market (Media Centre and Tablet), as well as the stripped-down bargain version sold in countries where piracy is a particular problem. So there are clear advantages to taking this proposed stance on the release of Longhorn, and clear signals that this path is being taken.

This is all speculation, of course. No-one will really know until the blooming thing is released. When will that be? The current prediction is May 2006, but exactly how many times has this project been pushed back? I don’t expect it to ship by May 2006, I expect it to be pushed back once more, but still arrive in time for summer 2006. That’s my prediction.

Update It now transpires that there will, indeed, be seven versions – see here for more (18/09/2005)

This post was filed under: Technology.

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20th February 2006.

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