My critisisms of Longhorn are fair: fair from the standpoint of a hypothetical business owner. I have 500 machines, why do I need to upgrade to Longhorn?

Let me state this in the clear: what I am trying to get at is, what does Longhorn offer over Windows XP besides the usual?

Saying things like: "Customers want everything that longhorn will be" is just a cover. What defines Longhorn vs. XP, 2003?

There are three pillars to this new OS:

Avalon-> Pretty 3-D graphics. MS makes the case that most systems have 3D graphics accelerators. Ok, so we get better graphics, and lower CPU. But what about the ### million server motherboards that are integrated with RageXL 8 MB chipsets? Or Intel (whatever they call it)?

They cannot support even the lowest Aero experience.

Indigo-> More secure/easy network transport. Nice, but everything (software) needs to be upgraded to take advantage of it.

WinFS-> Single most overblown technology, ever. Yes, extra data is nice, yes, having containers & extra search items is nice. Search will certainly be faster. But put down the fanboy sign, and think. How often do I use Search? How often do you use Search? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

The last time I used Search was for hunting down some header files in the \Windows\System32 directory. That was three weeks ago.

I think Bill Gates vision tends to evolve on a daily basis. He's been wrong about a number of things (especially in his book). And it's less a game of chess than "King of the Mountain" where IBM, SUN, MS, and everyone else want a bigger slice of the pie.

The problem MS has, is that 1.) they no longer innovate. Apple with the Ipod is a classic (if overused) example. 2.) they are telling their customers what they want. Classic mistake, results in a market backlash.

Innovation is->>>>solving a problem, annoyance, etc.

WinFS solves the Search problem very well. But it is not needed often: most users keep their files in the "My Documents folder", and running Search on that is just dumb. What they should do (in conjunction to WinFS) is over a preview (first paragraph) of the documents in a folder. Running Search is absolutely fantastic when you get about 50 hits, and have to open each one of them to find the file you're looking for.

*Whistles to MS* If Google implements a feature where there is a link to a file, plus a preview of the file (image, text, etc.) below it, we all know who is going to be dragged through the hot coals.

Avalon solves...window painting problems. Tearing, refreshing, little thing like that. I suppose if Adobe used the GPU for its image transforms, yeah, useful. But GPUs are not up for that kind of work.

Indigo solves the sockets problem (so I hear) for developers. More secure.

What I'm trying to imagine is this sparkling vision everyone has of Longhorn, and how this integrates into a business. What does Longhorn bring to Manufacturing? Healthcare? Education?

I'd settle for something in the Industry/Consumer categories.

The point I'm trying to make is that while Longhorn has a bunch of really fantastic solutions, I do not see the problem. Let me say, here and now, Ryan Ross does not see what is so great (aside from the geek factor) about Longhorn, that upon launch day, I will be running out in traffic to grab a piece of this fantastic software.

Let me put it to you this way: when I walk into work, I'm going to tell my boss that we need to upgrade to Longhorn because it helps his business do what?

Prediction: Longhorn launches, we throw BG a geek day parade. Like Dilbert: This is absolutely wonderful, but totally unmarketable. Thank You, I'm technology driven.

Another Prediction: The first people to upgrade (of the non-geek culture) will be people who are buying a new PC.

I'm out,
RR