The Longhorn leaks and rumors continued into 2003. But the longer the schedule was pushed out, the more excited enthusiasts became. Longhorn, suddenly, wasn’t just a minor stopover between Whistler (Windows XP) and Blackcomb. It was everything.
The Wall Street Journal got things started in 2003, fittingly enough, the week of the New Year, speculating whether Longhorn would “take the blue ribbon or get slaughtered.” The rationale for this question was solid enough: with an ever-creeping feature set and non-stop delays, Longhorn was starting to look a lot like a previous and failed Microsoft project called Cairo.