To make the next major release of Windows (aka Longhorn) ship only three years late, Microsoft is pulling features. You've probably read that in the computing press today, some of whom are now calling the OS "Shorthorn."
There's another reason, uncovered by Microsoft Watch: the hardware requirements. This is the list of recommended hardware specs that they came up with,along with my computer's specs in brackets:
* Dual-core CPU (single-core Pentium 4).
* 4 to 6GHz (2.4HGz).
* Minimum 2GB RAM (1GB).
* Terabyte (1000GB) of storage (340GB).
* 1 Gbit Ethernet (100Mbit).
* Graphics board that runs three times faster than those on the market today. (ATI 8500).
Microsoft would not confirm those specs, but today a Microsoft "evangelist" [orthodox or liberal?] says that Longhorn's graphics system (codenamed "Avalon") is so hardware intensive that "... we barely could get the latest builds to run on a top-of-the-line Alienware machine."
Would I have such a computer in 2006? Doubtful.
For those of us who were around in the early days of personal computers, this nudges a memory: Visi Corp was one of the biggest software companies in the mid-1980s with their killer app, the VisiCalc spreadsheet. When they finally released the years-late VisiOn do-it-all software, it sank like a stone, and the company never recovered. Why? VisiOn required a 5MB hard drive, a hardware spec that overwhelmed nearly all potential customers. Expensive new hardware + expensive new software = few sales.