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Friday, April 29, 2005

Back Home For Me, And Longhorn

It's been well over a week since my last update, but in that span of time I've written my last 3 exams, moved back home, and done all kinds of fun errands like going to the dentist and such. Doesn't everyone just enjoy the dentist? Anyways...

Longhorn's been sent home too. Microsoft has apparently decided to pull the latest build released to WinHEC attendees (Build 5048). I don't blame them either. Although I would have liked this build to have been publicly available, it is a developer preview intended for testing new hardware drivers. Much of Longhorn's feature-set was stripped out, and this is what is seems like no one has understood. Right from the day this build was released people began criticizing the user interface (or lack there-of). This should have been pretty obvious, but this is a hardware developer preview handed out at a hardware developer conference.

With that being said, there are some notable improvements (just a couple, but this is a developer preview release) that I've seen in some screenshots. The My Music and My Pictures folders have received an upgrade. On the left hand side there is a directory tree view rooted at the My Music (or My Pictures) folder. You can now browse you're music with each artist in a seperate folder without having to see everything else that you've got on your hard drive as you currently do in Windows Explorer. I just might start to make use of these folders because of this improvement. The status bars at the bottom of windows have also been modified. Their height has been increased in order to provide a richer presentation of the file metadata.

Sure this build looks like Windows XP with a little bit of a UI change, but pay attention to the above text in italics. Don't judge Longhorn on this build, it's not even close to a fraction of whats to come. Much of the improvements that come with Longhorn are under the hood, thats what people should be excited about. Yes, I'm excited about the new UI as well, but that's not what it's all about.

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