Microsoft will ship its next Windows client code-named Longhorn in 2006 as originally promised -- but without the next-generation file system known as WinFS...
Instead, Microsoft will deliver WinFS after the next major client OS ships in 2006, Microsoft said in a press release Friday.
Microsoft could not say when WinFS will be available, but claimed the decision to delay the file system was because it has revised its plans and will now offer a WinFS server as well as a client. Microsoft said in July and reiterated this week that it plans to release Longhorn server in 2007.
The news was announced on Friday, weeks after finishing Windows XP Service Pack 2 and roughly a month before the final deadline many customers face for signing new Software Assurance contracts. Many of those contracts expired in July , but many customers took advantage of a 90-day loophole that extended the deadline until the end of September.
The decision to cut features from Longhorn to enable on-time delivery was not motivated by SA contracts, said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Windows.
"The scope and ambition [for Longhorn] we've had has been big and [has gotten] bigger. ... We didn't have a server plan," Sullivan said. "Now we're doing a client and server implementation. It's an expansion of the scope."
Sullivan said customers will get a new batch of end-user features, including single-image deployment, management tools and new backup capabilities in the Longhorn client. He also said Software Assurance will enable customers to get WinFS when it is completed after Longhorn...