Microsoft Longhorn

3683 Tips & tricks

Longhorn build 3683 is the “youngest” of all Longhorn builds we have access to, dating back to September 2002. As such you might expect it to be very similar to XP and Server 2003 versions of Windows. When looking superficially at this build this may seem to be correct, but for those that care to take a closer look there are plenty of new features to be found throughout this build.

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.

Exposing a spy

Most of you will probably be aware of some 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 DirectX powered view features all sorts of animation to spice up the browsing experience.

Fixed 4093 Releases

The original leak of Longhorn build 4093 from within Microsoft was broken and uninstallable. Prior to leaking the release to the public, the C0d3rz release group had attempted to repair the ISO and at least make it installable. While they loosely succeeded in this goal, the resulting product introduced a number of additional bugs and no effort had been expended to keep it as original as possible. With this in mind, several attempts have been made over the years to reverse some of the damage done in the original leak and restore it to something closer to Microsoft’s original intention.

Hacking Avalon #1: Disable it in Longhorn

This is the first post in a series that I’ll be doing. Hacking Avalon will be all about interesting stuff in Avalon. Furthermore, I hope to provide some background on how early variants of Avalon work together with the shell in Longhorn. Keep in mind, this series will mainly discuss the earliest revisions of Avalon found in Milestone 3 builds. The tricks may not always work on later builds. That’s it for the intro.

Hacking Avalon #2: Port it to Windows XP

Always wanted to experiment with Avalon on Windows XP? In this second part of the “Hacking Avalon” series, we’re going to install not only Avalon but also some other Longhorn components. In this post, I will take Windows XP as example, but the installer is also compatible with Server 2003. Below is a description of the included components and their use. avalon This will install the Longhorn Avalon runtime to your computer.

Hacking Avalon #3: Compiling XAML

In this third part of the Hacking Avalon series, we are taking a closer look at the process of making an Avalon application. To do this, we will be using a special tool only available in early Longhorn builds. This tool is called the Avalon Compiler or simply ac. This tool does what its name suggests; compile Avalon. What is that precisely? Just a quick note before we begin; this post is completely based on the Avalon version included with 3683.

Hillel demoes Longhorn (Extended cut)

Here it is. 6 minutes of Hillel Cooperman introducing Longhorn to the public during Bill Gates’ keynote on 27 October 2003 at PDC ‘03 in Los Angeles. Originally this demo was cut from the footage from Bill Gates’ keynote that was published online at Channel9. I found bits and bops of the footage scattered over the web and decided to put them together in one large video. I complemented some original footage with videos by Paul Thurrott.

Installing drivers

When using Longhorn, it’s a must to known how to manually install drivers in Windows. The process is basically the same in all versions of Windows, but I thought it couldn’t hurt if I would write up a short tutorial for those people new to installing drivers. We start off by opening Run by pressing WIN + R . In the dialog, type devmgmt.msc Click OK. The Device Manager will now open up.

Phodeo in detail

Multiple patents were filed by Microsoft for this sensational effect. One of the patents shows some detailed screens of what Phodeo is supposed to look like. These images closely resemble some concepts shown by Hillel Cooperman at PDC ‘03, but are, in fact, not the same. Where the user in Hillel’s demo was Jim, the user in this concept is called Steven. Also note that in the image below the window frame is visible, clearly identifying this as a mock-up created in Macromedia Director with the title “timeline demo”.

The very beginning

Often times people are confused to hear Longhorn was based off of Windows Server 2003. To the newcomer it seems more plausible that it was instead based off of Windows XP because early builds look so much like it. In this post we will have an in-depth look at the early beginning of the Longhorn project. Along the way we will discover how Longhorn emerged from the Server 2003 code base.

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.