Longhorn Community Technical Preview
Longhorn Community Technical Preview, WinHEC 2004 Build (Build 4074)
Welcome to the first Longhorn Community Technical Preview. At the 2003 Professional Developers Conference (PDC) we introduced "Longhorn," the code name for the next generation Windows® client operating system. At the conference we made available a very early build of the operating system to give developers an early look at its functionality and give us feedback. We are continuing this process as we progress with the Longhorn project and this is the first Community Technical Preview update. This Technical Preview is available to MSDN subscribers from MSDN Subscriber Downloads.
Longhorn is expected to be a significant version of Windows because of the Windows Framework (WinFX) technologies that it introduces. These technologies are aimed at enabling developers to make new and exciting products and services available. To learn about them, take a look at the MSDN Longhorn Developer Center, where you will find valuable information for understanding Longhorn.
Why We Are Making Early Builds Available
We are making very early builds of Longhorn available in order to allow developers to be ready for Longhorn, but also so that we can receive feedback. Your feedback is truly important to us and we look at all of it very carefully to help us provide a reliable platform on which you can build powerful solutions.
It's important to understand that these Community Technical Previews are not Beta releases of Longhorn. These are early builds that developers will find useful to evaluate, but they are not functionally complete nor do they meet the quality bar of a Beta release. You will likely see both progress and regressions as you look at the functionality in these builds. This is to be expected, but as we advance with the project you should see solid progress toward the vision we outlined at the 2003 Professional Developers Conference.
You will also notice that there is no available Visual Studio® set of development tools to accompany this update. You can, of course, build applications on Longhorn using the MSBuild system. MSBuild is included in the Longhorn operating system and allows developers to be immediately productive. For help getting started, see Using MSBuild.exe. You might also want to take a look at Overview of MSBuild, Part 1: From a Project Author's Perspective.
Since this is an early preview build, we do not recommend you use Longhorn on a primary work machine connected to a network. Security is an area that we take particularly seriously at Microsoft and these builds have not been subject to a security audit.
When you review this Community Technical Preview you will find it looks like the initial preview made available last year. The teams at Microsoft are continuing to focus on the developer functionality at this stage of the project, and consequently the current user experience with the operating system is unchanged.
If you look at the Longhorn architecture diagram you will see that WinFX is made up of four key technical areas. I'll quickly recap the new functionality available in this update in each of these areas.
Fundamentals is a key pillar of Longhorn that provides a base set of services to help reduce the cost of ownership of client software. This improves areas such as deployment, updates, configuration management, and error reporting by providing developers with a set of base services on which they can rely. In this Community Technical Preview we have continued to work at stability, performance, and some infrastructure in this area.
"Indigo" is the code name covering the communications subsystem in Longhorn. This allows developers to communicate reliably and securely. The Indigo team has been working hard in this key area but do not have any new functionality to share in this update. We are looking forward to an update in a future Community Technical Preview of Longhorn.
"Avalon" is the code name for the new Presentation subsystem in Longhorn. This is an essential part of the new platform that brings the other pillars to life, allowing a higher quality and more productive user experience. The Avalon team has also been focusing on stability and performance in this update but also have some new features to share.
One significant change that developers will immediately notice is that we have changed the namespace for Avalon. In the PDC 2003 preview release Avalon used the temporary namespace of MSAvalon for its functionality. This has changed to the System.Windows namespace where Avalon now represents the main presentation system in WinFX.
You'll see a lot of incremental progress in Avalon as features that were available at the PDC last year have solidified and been improved. These include the following.
We're very excited to bring you a Community Technical Preview of Longhorn and get your feedback. As you can see, we are continuing to make solid progress on Longhorn to deliver the vision we outlined at the PDC last year. Please tour the ever growing Longhorn Developer Center and participate in the Longhorn News Groups to give feedback.