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Q&A: Microsoft's Bob Muglia on Longhorn plans, company road map

He confirmed that the server version of Longhorn won't be out any sooner than 2006

By Carol Sliwa
March 17, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft Corp. officials have been fuzzy on the expected ship date for the next major version of the Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn. And, of late, they've been raising the possibility of newly packaged editions of existing client and server products.
Discussing the company's options yesterday in an interview with Computerworld, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows Server division, confirmed that the server version of Longhorn will be released no earlier than 2006. And if a second release of Windows Server 2003 emerges, it will contain none of the "core" features of Longhorn.
This is Part 1 of the interview with Muglia. In Part 2, which will be posted tomorrow, he discusses Microsoft's vision for its management offerings.
Is there really going to be a Release 2 of Windows Server 2003? There's a ton of innovation that we'd been building coincident with the release of [Windows Server] 2003, some of which has already shipped. We've shipped things like Windows SharePoint Services since [Windows Server] 2003 has gotten out. And some things haven't shipped, like, for example, the Whidbey -- [Visual Studio] 2005, I guess, is what I should call it now -- the Common Language Runtime, those sorts of pieces of technology we know are coming in the next 12 months or so. So we know there's a set of innovations that have been under development. We want to get those into customers' hands. Exactly the vehicle we're going to do that, we're still working on the specifics of that. We don't know all the details yet. Stay tuned.
Do you think of Release 2 for Windows Server 2003 as an interim release before Longhorn? I don't know how we'll package it.
When is Longhorn going to come out? 2006 is the earliest time frame we're looking at for Longhorn. The thing to realize about it, though ... there's a lot of features coming in Longhorn. We want to make sure that those all fit together in a cohesive way and solve customer issues. We spent a ton of time over this last year or so on how we can make our existing systems more secure and robust. So all that benefit is going to transition into Longhorn as well. Teams are working pretty hard on all of those pieces.

Bob Muglia of Microsoft Corp.
Bob Muglia of Microsoft Corp.

Is it likely the client and server will ship at different times? They will almost always ship at different times in the future. Clients need slightly less bake time than servers do. When we look at shipping


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