The Fundamentals Pillar of Longhorn

The Fundamentals Pillar of Longhorn has received far less attention than the other pillars (Avalon, Indigo and WinFS). This is a shame, because the Fundamentals deserve equal, if not more, attention as the other pillars. In fact, the Fundamentals are arguably the most important pillar, in that advances in this area are the foundation of the OS. "Nailing the Basics" is priority number one for this next release of the OS. With this in mind, I'm going to start enumerating the different aspects and innovations within this pillar.

The Fundamentals can be decomposed into three broad areas of interest based on audience:

1. User: Deep kernel and OS work that benefits any user of the system

2. IT Pro: New features for the IT Pro that improves the experience of installing and maintaining the OS in a networked environment

3. Developer: New features that address issues of application lifecycle management

By decomposing the Fundamentals this way, we can start to discuss features that correlate to these categories. With all categories, there is some blurring. For example, ClickOnce (which is a feature of Whidbey but is enhanced in the Longhorn timeframe) is both a developer feature, including support in Visual Studio, as well as something that affects the IT Pro who is managing deployment of applications. Despite the blurring of these categories, I'll be using this taxonomy as I start to blog about the Fundamentals. Expect to see a flurry of posts over the next few months that address features and advances in the Fundamentals pillar.