Longhorn getting clipped?

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This BusinessWeek article suggests that Longhorn is getting paired down.

This is a good sign–from an engineering standpoint.

Starting at PDC we’ve been seeing peaks of Longhorn and its features. In fact, the list has been growing–something that as a software developer throws up a caution sign in my mind. Adding features sounds good–because many of them are needed today. However, too many features added at once can create a mess or make something prohibitively expensive or delayed forever.

In fact, the art of effective product development is to build a strong core and add features as time permits and at the same time leave the door open for growth. Cutting features is part of the process–not the exception.

You might presume that everything can be spec’ed and planned out. But factory line-style development isn’t as easy to do in reality when you’re working on something that’s never been done before–like with Longhorn.

Does this mean Longhorn is going to be released sooner now? I don’t know. It all depends on what makes it into Longhorn. But at least from a product development standpoint, it’s something I expect to see and makes me more comfortable about the future of Longhorn and not less so.