The next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, is still in the early stages of its journey to the retail corral, but our hands-on look at a preview reveals features we’d love to have now–while raising some intriguing questions.
In addition to the interface revisions, including the new Sidebar, that we saw in our first glimpse of Longhorn (see “Sneak Peek: Windows XP’s Successor”), Microsoft has altered Windows Explorer, the program that controls the desktop and its computer- and file-browsing windows.
In our preview code (the official beta isn’t due until the second half of 2004, and rumor has it that the upgrade may not ship until 2006), Windows Explorer routinely displayed much more information about files and computer resources than it does in Windows XP. New links in Explorer panels let users and/or applications associate search keywords, comments, and categories with files, data within files, or objects stored on other devices, computers, or networks. This is the first evidence of Longhorn’s new WinFS file system, which lets you find related resources regardless of their physical location or object type. (full story)
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