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Michael Flanakin's blog Food for thought...

There's been a lot of talk about Linux taking a chunk out of Microsoft's space in the corporate desktop realm. Now, I don't see Linux ever being a huge threat to Microsoft, but it can possibly make a nice dent in Microsoft's income.

With Longhorn 2-3 years out, customers are going to be very hungry for some new features. With the recent Windows Server 2003 launch, Microsoft has some time, but pretty soon, I think people will look at this as the time to make a decision. Microsoft needs to realize this and make some sort of move to show their customers (and developers) that they are still commited to excellence (...or at least striving for it).

My suggestion: I say that Microsoft work on some add-ons for WinXP. Let's say, Windows XP2. XP2 could contain some of the security updates that Server 2003 included and possibly some of the newest features that are getting implemented with Longhorn. I would think that a basic subset would be nice. Perhaps the UI would be the best piece - let's face it, if customers can see a change, then they think that things are going great. I would like to see some of these updates around late 2004, if that's feasible. Well, actually, I'd like to see them earlier, but let's at least try to be partially reasonable.

I think people would feel better about sticking around if there was an XP upgrade at least in the works. And, if they can work in some of the base WinFX content which we can develop to, that would be even better. For instance, if XP2 included some basic XAML features, developers could start writing code to that. This will only help Longhorn out in the long run.

XP2 could be released similar to the VS.NET 2003 release - cheap. Maybe not $23, or whatever it was, but less than a full OS purchase. There wouldn't be significant reasons to upgrade, so nobody would get it if it was too expensive. Free is an option, but I would not suggest this to be marketted as a service pack or anything. Keep the idea that this fixes security bugs out of users' heads. Maybe market it as XP2: A Taste of What's to Come (ok, that's cheesy). I just think that it would help Microsoft keep some of its iffy customers as well as make developers happy :-)

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2003 6:09 PM IT | Back to top

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