LOS ANGELES -- Microsoft Senior Vice President Jim Allchin at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference here on Monday touted the upcoming Longhorn release of Windows for its XML, Web services, collaboration, and storage capabilities.
Allchin's keynote followed a Longhorn presentation by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, with Allchin's presentation interrupted several times for demonstrations of the technology. But developers, who are receiving early code from Longhorn at the conference, will have to wait a while for the finished Longhorn product. A first beta release is not planned until the second half of 2004, with general availability expected in 2006.
For Web services and collaboration, the Indigo technology in Longhorn enables access to multiple elements of the system, including security and trust. Peer-to-peer communications also is supported.
"What we're doing in Indigo is creating a business system you can access that does everything for you," Allchin said.
Indigo can send transacted messages reliably with security and interoperability, he said.
Indigo enables building of services and making of Web services calls, according to Microsoft officials.
"The bottom line is it simplifies the building of services in a fairly dramatic way," Allchin said.
"We have facilities for you to create services so you don't have to do much thinking," with services developed declaratively, said Allchin.
Applications can be run as a service, according to Allchin.
Synchronization also is provided in Indigo, as is collaboration, providing for unification of contact lists among systems such as real-time messaging and e-mail, he said.
"What we're trying to do in this space is create a single name space and environment for contacts" and presence, Allchin said.
Microsoft with the Avalon subsystem in Longhorn wants to unify the two worlds of development for Windows and Web applications, providing just one developer model. "What we're doing in Avalon is creating a unified persistence model for Windows applications, for Web applications, and for media-type presentations," said Allchin.
Avalon enables developers to exploit the graphics capabilities in Longhorn.
The XAML (XML Application Markup Language) functionality in Longhorn provides a markup language enabling development in a declarative programming fashion, according to Allchin. The declarative concept involves separating coding from content. "XAML allows collaboration between designers and developers," he said.
Also featured in Longhorn is "Superfetch."
"Superfetch is the idea that we can look at what's going on in a system and in a much smarter, semantic, heuristic way to determine what you're going to need in the future," Allchin said.
Secure communications are a highlight of Longhorn, said Allchin. "We will continue to ensure that those capabilities are built into the system so you as an application developer, you don't have to worry about whether your communication is secure," he said.
Also featured in Longhorn is Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), formerly called Palladium, for secure booting in hardware and creation of shadowed memory.