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Microsoft on Tuesday used a public online chat to provide some detailed technical insight into the networking features it plans to fold into its next-generation Longhorn operating system, which is scheduled for initial release in 2006.

Alexander Wolfe

March 22, 2005

2 Min Read

Microsoft today provided some detailed technical insight into the networking features it plans to fold into its next-generation Longhorn operating system, which is scheduled for initial release in 2006. In a public, online chat, Jawad Khaki, vice president of Microsoft's networking and devices division, emphasized that Longhorn is being designed with a heavy dose of support for the latest wireless technologies, as well as for the new IPv6 Internet protocol.

"Wireless will have the latest 802.11i security support," Khaki wrote in the chat. "Longhorn will [also] offer a new, integrated IPv4/IPv6 stack optimized for low-speed wireless and multi-gigabit networks. The new stack will have extensibility to enable easy integration with third-party products, such as firewalls, parental controls and virus products. We will also have enhancements to provide easy diagnostics to help users and network managers to easily troubleshoot problems."

Developers and solution providers looking to link their wireless products to Longhorn got a nod from Khaki.

"The WiFi stack is being rewritten for Longhorn to allow for extensibility," he told the chat audience. "This includes a new driver model that exposes 802.11 concepts rather than trying to just look like Ethernet. The extensibility features [will] allow hardware developers to add support for extra features. There will be a public API for configuration of wireless networks, as well as support for group policy, scripting and diagnostics."

On the consumer front, Microsoft noted that Longhorn will also include support for home networking.

"Our focus here is to enable effortless secure networks that will support state-of-the-art technologies to enable new experiences in the home," Khaki noted. "Things like streaming of audio/video media streams for entertainment and real-time communications."

Asked if Longhorn was mainly consumer-based, Khaki said that's not the case. "Longhorn will have enhancements for enterprise and consumer networking," he wrote.

Expanding on the thinking behind Longhorn's use of the new IPv6 protocol, Khaki said, "Our direction on IPv6 is to enable end-to-end networking that is critical to emerging peer-to-peer applications. In addition to IPv6, we will have also have platform advancements to further simplify development of peer-to-peer applications."

About the Author(s)

Alexander Wolfe

Contributor

Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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