Hexadecimal notation

This quick introduction to hex was originally to be part of another article, but became quite long and therefore I decided to separate it. Even though it doesn’t have anything to do with Longhorn in particular I believe it will be worth the read.    A bit of binary to begin with At its core, a computer can only distinguish… Read more →

Virtual development

Ever looked at a Windows build list and wondered what all those different tags mean? Or did you ever wonder about the production process of Windows? If yes, you’ve just clicked the correct article. This article will elaborate on the Windows build process as used during the pre-reset Longhorn development. Please note that even though I’ve conducted rigorous research, not all… Read more →


While exploring Longhorn builds you might have noticed these weird spelling mistakes in the Windows branding  like; “onghornLay rofessionalPay” and wondered whether one of the developers had a breakdown while typing this. In this article I will elaborate on the exact purpose of the “onghornLay” branding.   Backstory Up until Longhorn, Microsoft had been creating Windows with hard-coded strings spread… Read more →

Aurora & Aero

Aurora is one of the eye-candy features which is best represented in Milestone 7 builds. Using the powerful Avalon presentation engine, Longhorn was able to draw fancy animations, like Aurora, without any significant performance hit on the processor. Aurora in the preview panel was first shown at the PDC 2003 conference when a private build was showcased. At first sight many… Read more →

.NET framework

A significant part of Longhorn is written in managed C#. Taskbar, sidebar, preview pane… it’s all .NET. I thought it would be interesting to know the mechanics behind this framework, so here we go: an article solely about .NET. Of course, first we need to write our program in a .NET language. When the time has come to test the application… Read more →

Activation cracks

Run Microsoft’s Windows “Longhorn” today using these activation cracks for each build. Simply replace the “winlogon.exe” in your System32 folder with the copies contained in the ZIP below. There are two ways to do this. The first is to replace it from within the Windows install itself. This will mean that your Longhorn installation must be fully functional first. You… Read more →

Out-of-box experience

With the new image-based installation introduced in Milestone 4 it was also time for a revamped out-of-box experience (OOBE) wizard. The first build to feature the image-based install and new OOBE wizard is build 4001. After a brief time loading at the ‘Please wait…’ page you will find yourself at the WelcomePage where you will be welcomed to the wizard. On the next… Read more →


At WinHEC 2003 Microsoft revealed that Longhorn would be build from the ground up from a list of components. Already before this time various people at Microsoft had stated that Longhorn would be the first ‘modular’ operating system. But what does this all mean? I’ll try my best to get clear what componentising really is.   Bits and bobs Basically,… Read more →

64-bit Windows

If you ever bothered to take a look at one of the 64-bit Longhorn compiles, you may have noticed that these builds are extremely empty and lack, for example, the sidebar. There’s a good reason why these compiles lack lots of features the x86 Longhorn compiles did have.   A new architecture When the development of Longhorn began the 64-bit processors… Read more →

My TV and Movies

The My TV and Movies library becomes visible when using the Media Center Edition (Freestyle) variant of some Longhorn builds. The My TV and Movies library is a media application for recording and watching TV. The application is an Avalon container and is opened in Internet Explorer by the Avalon Shell Handler. The container itself includes a couple of dll and BAML… Read more →