Some build

I’m on some sort of ‘write down all the things’ spree, documenting things I’ve found in the past1)BetaArchive – Longhorn for everyday use (back then), but never properly have written down here on Today I’d like to have a brief look at this unidentified build. In the video ‘Why I love XAML’ on Channel9, published 20 August 20042)Channel 9… Read more →

Desktop Compositing

In this tutorial you will find everything you need to enable desktop compositing on the Longhorn builds that support it. I’d like to note that I am writing this tutorial with VMware workstation in mind. As such, all drivers provided on this page are meant for use with VMware. At the bottom of this page you’ll find a list of… Read more →

True meaning of RMA

The RMA test tile already caused some discussion in the past and nobody has since figured out what it’s purpose is. This hidden tile for the sidebar in builds 4008 and up has no obvious functionality other than taking up space. In this article we will dive into the real meaning and function of the RMA test tile.   If… Read more →

Exposing a spy

Most of you will probably be aware of some of the hidden view options available throughout the Longhorn builds. These views are commonly known as ‘Carousel’ and ‘Panorama’. The latter is often also called ‘Phodeo’. Enabling the 3D view-mode as well as one of these hidden views causes a DirectX rendered view to appear instead of the familiar plain 2D view. The… Read more →


At Microsoft it’s common practice to use products still under development to continue development of that very product. Once a stable version of a product is available, developers are encouraged to install it on their workstations and use it for every day use. Developers using the product can directly provide feedback and report bugs to teams working on certain features.  This process is… Read more →

Hexadecimal notation

This quick introduction to hex was originally to be part of another article, but became quite long and therefore I decided to separate it. Even though it doesn’t have anything to do with Longhorn in particular I believe it will be worth the read.    A bit of binary to begin with At its core, a computer can only distinguish… Read more →

Virtual development

Ever looked at a Windows build list and wondered what all those different tags mean? Or did you ever wonder about the production process of Windows? If yes, you’ve just clicked the correct article. This article will elaborate on the Windows build process as used during the pre-reset Longhorn development. Please note that even though I’ve conducted rigorous research, not all… Read more →

.NET framework

A significant part of Longhorn is written in managed C#. Taskbar, sidebar, preview pane… it’s all .NET. I thought it would be interesting to know the mechanics behind this framework, so here we go: an article solely about .NET. Of course, first we need to write our program in a .NET language. When the time has come to test the application… Read more →

Out-of-box experience

With the new image-based installation introduced in Milestone 4 it was also time for a revamped out-of-box experience (OOBE) wizard. The first build to feature the image-based install and new OOBE wizard is build 4001. After a brief time loading at the ‘Please wait…’ page you will find yourself at the WelcomePage where you will be welcomed to the wizard. On the next… Read more →


At WinHEC 2003 Microsoft revealed that Longhorn would be build from the ground up from a list of components. Already before this time various people at Microsoft had stated that Longhorn would be the first ‘modular’ operating system. But what does this all mean? I’ll try my best to get clear what componentising really is.   Bits and bobs Basically,… Read more →