Why Longhorn Matters, Even Outside the Enterprise

Kachina Shaw

Now that the beta 3 version of Windows Server, aka Longhorn (for now), is available, look for things to get even more interesting through the rest of the year -- the end of which should see at least Longhorn's release to manufacturing, if not to customers.


Yes, the big trend is the consumerization of tech, a bubbling up of software and hardware development and adoption from the street to the office. But don't count enterprise IT out just yet. Maybe the biggest impact comes when these two markets move in tandem.


Remember that Longhorn and Windows Vista share a code base. Microsoft said even before Vista was released that Longhorn and Vista SP1 would ship at the same time. With Longhorn solidly on schedule, IT departments that are much more excited about taking advantage of its administration, security and configuration features than they are about a new client OS may rip off the band-aid and do it all at once in the Longhorn/SP1 scenario, as Joe Wilcox suggests at Microsoft Watch.


And that would create a celebration-worthy bump for enterprise Vista adoption (take that, Forbes magazine). At which point Microsoft should take those profits and reinvest them in a new software-as-a-service strategy to stave off a death blow from either Google, Intel, or both.

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