Applications software vendors are going to wait for Longhorn, the next generation of Windows, as Microsoft has withdrawn plans to ship the software in 2005.
Longhorn was originally supposed to ship in 2004. In May, but release was pushed back to 2005 earlier ths year. But Microsoft executives are now reported to be refusing comment on when it will ship other than that a broad beta will appear sometime next summer.
Longhorn is a vitally important release for Microsoft and its applications partners. It includes a major revamp of the Windows File System and is described by Microsoft as its "most revolutionary operating system to date".
But it looks as though the long shadow of the Justice Department may be hanging over the release as some analysts speculate that Microsoft is postponing the release of Longhorn until the remedy order made in settling an antitrust case against it expires in 2007. The order forces Microsoft to license the protocols between its client and server environments to third parties.