Cheers, and fears, onfirst look at Longhorn

Developers saved most of their applause during the keynote sessions of the conference for the demonstration of Longhorn, with its...

Developers saved most of their applause during the keynote sessions of the conference for the demonstration of Longhorn, with its new Avalon 3D graphics system, unified object oriented storage system and notification agent.

But some were worried by the company's announcement that it would merge its desktop and web programming models using XAML, the new graphical mark-up language closely linked to Avalon. "An affront to XHTML, and the whole World Wide Web Consortium," was how one developer described the plan.

Developers' response to security enhancements was muted. The less frequent software updates announced in October are not ideal, "but what better solution is there?" shrugged one.

The Next Generation Secure Computing Base (formerly Palladium) will prevent memory manipulation and provide encrypted "sealed storage", but developers were worried about the need for specialised hardware, in which the feature may be turned off by default.

The product will not ship until Longhorn is ready, but some developers still expressed frustration at the prospect of having to rework code to use Longhorn's new software architecture.

Microsoft stressed the company would support integration between most existing application programming interfaces and Longhorn, and provide a code migration path for APIs that were not supported.

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