Further to my earlier post about the delays behind the next version of Windows, Paul Thurrott of Windows & .NET Magazine has gotten hold of some screenshots of what is codenamed Longhorn that perhaps show they’re further down the road than we thought. His conclusions?
- this Windows version will finally fulfill Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates’s goal of making Windows the center of our digital lifestyle.
- Longhorn will offer a sound volume “mix” so that users can independently control any software that generates sound; in one of the screen shots, the volume for Microsoft Outlook’s new mail sound and the main speaker volume are independently controlled.
- Continuing the Activity Center work that began with Windows Me, Longhorn aggregates common elements into central locations, rather than requiring users to navigate around the system and control discrete elements independently. For example, instead of requiring users to independently synchronize equipment such as portable audio devices, Pocket PCs, and USB memory fobs and software elements such as Offline Files, a new Longhorn SyncManager control panel will give users a central location for managing synchronization tasks. From this
location, users will be able to set up all device and software synchronization partnerships, manage devices, and perform other related activities.