This writeup is now retired. Windows.NET 1.0 is really Windows XP.

I'm leaving this writeup because it is history of Microsoft Windows.

Windows.NET 1.0 is the next version of Microsoft Windows. Currently in the beta stage of development, Windows.NET 1.0 will be released in the third quarter of 2001. Codenamed Whistler after the ski resort and mountain in British Colombia, it will be named Windows XP, not Windows 2001 as previously thought, or Windows.NET 1.0.

Update (August 2000): Microsoft has released the final pre-beta release (late August 2000). Beta 1 of Windows.NET (Whistler) is expected to ship in October 2000. MS hopes to have the final version released by summer 2001 for the start of the new school year; expect it in time for Christmas at the soonest.

Update (October 31, 2000): Microsoft has released Beta 1 of Windows.NET 1.0.

Update (November 2000): I've installed and am testing Windows Whistler now. It isn't so bad; it's obviously beta, but the new GUI is really slick, and a lot of the new features will go over well once the bugs are worked out. It's like Windows 2000 in a badass car with the windows rolled down tearing down the highway...while it's raining. In other words, it's getting there.

Update (November 2000, two days later): AOL Instant Messenger 4.3 officially does not work. All other applications function normally. I'm considering reinstalling the operating system to try to correct this (as the program worked previously). Only problem is, my machine is the NAT server; if it goes down, the network goes down. Hummm...

Update (Thanksgiving 2000): Roommates have gone home, Windows 2000 reghosted and Whistler is history. The changes were nice, the UI was slick, but in general it isn't ready for prime-time, not by a longshot. I may install it on a test machine to do some real beta-testing, so MS doesn't kick me out, but we'll see...

Update (December 22, 2000): MS has delayed Whistler beta 2 since December 6th with no timetable given for the next release.

Update (January, 2001): An interim build (read: not beta 2) was released to beta testers, build 2410. Beta 2 is over a month late.

Update (February, 2001): Microsoft has rebranded Windows Whistler as Windows XP to highlight the "Experience" aspect of Windows. I don't need MS playing with my XP, though, let me tell you.

Update (February 16, 2001): Windows XP now sports a new UI called Luna, in an attempt to out-do Apple's forthcoming release of MacOS X with it's Aqua interface. Beta 2 of Windows XP will be released on February 28th, with a public beta (much like Apple's public beta of MacOS X) coming at the end of March for the Release Candidate version. The cost is thought to be about 20-30 dollars US. The new projected release date is September 2001 for the final version.
Built on the Windows NT kernel, Windows.NET will be released in five versions: Personal, Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter. Windows.Net Personal Edition will replace the Windows 9x line, whose last incarnation will be Windows Me (jokingly referred to by some as Windows 98 Third Edition). Windows.NET Professional will be the equivalent of Windows NT 4 Workstation (or Windows 2000 Professional), while the server versions will replace their Windows 2000 equivalents.

Windows.NET will utilize XML to create what Microsoft calls "the next-generation user experience." What that means exactly has yet to be adequately described. Microsoft does say, though, that it will help to allow the incorporation of web-based applications and more tightly integrate applications such as Office, Instant Messaging software, and Visual Studio (all of which will have .NET versions). Hopefully, Microsoft will release the required information for other applications to enjoy this integration (ha, ha).

A very early alpha build was leaked to the public in March of 2000 (build 2211) which was little more than an extremely buggy UI upgrade to Windows 2000 Professional. Shortly thereafter, a newer build was leaked. Finally, in July of 2000, Microsoft released preview copies of Windows Whistler which featured a number of improvements, including a new Start menu, GUI changes, user account changes, and little else.

Later builds, 2250 and 2257 were leaked during the summer of 2000, and offered little increase in usability. Later pre-beta versions offered to MSDN and approved beta testers, such as 2287, were leaked again to the Internet community.

Beta 1 was leaked on its release date.

The best thing about Windows.NET, provided Microsoft survives its current legal troubles, is that it will spell the end of the Windows 9x line and its DOS base.
Actually Microsoft .NET is not a operating system. Their new OS's are WindowsXP, also known as Whistler (for consumers) and Windows 2002 (for servers).

.NET is actually a just a specification for a framework. It is designed to allow developers (including msft) to create a set of services that are provided via a network architecture. Most portions of .NET will communicate over HTTP and use XML as a protocol. Microsoft is actually trying to sell .NET as a cross-platform technology.

Visual Studio .NET is a set of development tools to easily allow developers to create apps for .NET.

The bulk of Microsoft's development effort is not going into the .NET framework, but instead to .NETify it's existing products, which it is doing across the board. All of their new apps will use the .NET architecture, so you will see Office.NET, SQLServer.NET. It is actually a pretty good idea, there are similar solutions from Sun and IBM floating around.

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