Microsoft Longhorn

Aero done right

A lot of people have been struggling to get Aero to work in build 4074. In this post I want to show you how Aero can be enabled along with a little history. If you came here looking for information about Aurora, please see my post about Aurora & Aero. A theme with two faces During the development of Longhorn the exact look of the Aero theme was kept a good secret.

Behind the wallpapers

Here’s just a funny tidbit I found some time ago to keep you guys entertained. In an interview on Channel9, Robert Scoble asks a designer on the Windows team, Jenny Lam some questions about Vista and how its coming up Channel9. During the interview the following comes up on the subject of wallpapers: S: So, when we’re going to get Vista, what are we going to see that is yours?

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 builds that have working desktop compositing. For each of these build I will list the combination of VMware version and display driver that worked for me.

Drivers for VMWare

These packages are some extracted drivers from the VMWare Guest Additions. The tools themselves are not compatible with Longhorn, although the drivers themselves maintained compatibility for much longer. VMware 6.5 driver package VMware 6.5.2 driver package VMware 7.0 driver package Internet Archive Backup

Guide: WinFS and tasks in build 4042

A big new thing in Longhorn were the tasks and help topics integrated into Explorer. Many builds show an empty space where these tasks would go in Explorer’s task pane, but no tasks are showing. In this post I’ll describe the step-by-step process of getting these tasks to work on build 4042. The idea is that we go from an empty pane to a nice and completely filled pane like in the image below.

Managed C++, and the Longhorn Shell

Reading up on Longhorn’s development process, and you’ll read a lot about how the shell or user interface was redeveloped using the .NET Framework, and many people infer that this meant using C#, including a number of Microsoft employees. This has then been blamed for the terrible performance of Longhorn and in particular, is often cited as the cause for its numerous memory leaks. Architecture Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider the shell improvements from a wider view.

protoPlex

“protoPlex” was a project that ran during 2008, organised by Thomas Hounsell and overlapping heavily with the Longhorn 08 team. The aim was to build on a Longhorn build 3718 base, and develop some early plex concepts demonstrated by Microsoft. February 2008 CTP This was the only public release from the protoPlex project. It included a somewhat complete version of the “bluePlex” theme. This is the only release that was delivered as an installer.

Revisiting the Online Photo Print Wizard

In this post I will have a look at how one can unlock the “full potential” of the wizard - to lift a corner of the veil: it doesn’t have a lot of potential. If you can vaguely remember me writing about exactly this subject a few years back… you are right, but with the switch to the WordPress powered website I totally forgot to place the original article back so here I am revisiting the subject C:

Some build

I’m on some sort of “write down all the things” spree, documenting things I’ve found in the past, but never properly have written down here on longhorn.ms. 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 2004, Joe Marini shows of an Avalon application powered by data binding, all of which is contained in a single XAML file.

The reset

The newest Windows product at the time of the reset in late 2004 was Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC, which was used as a base after the reset. The new codebase was first componentised before any new features were added to it. Work on componentising the Server 2003 codebase had already begun weeks before build 4093 was compiled. The post-reset range started at build 5000. The first post-reset builds were compiled by the vbl_core lab.

Theme Format and Aero

Thanks to Lucas Brooks for letting me use his post from BetaArchive. I did a bit of research on Longhorn’s theme format, and figured out some things perhaps never fully documented before. I wrote a .msstyles decompiler, that can turn compiled packthem v4 themes into .INIs and resources (like Windows XP themes). Theme Format Overview The theme format (.msstyles) changed fundamentally compared to Windows XP, even with the earliest leaked build of Microsoft Longhorn.

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 you were still wondering how to enable this tile in the first place, it’s quite simple.