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Programming Windows: Springboard (Premium)

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With Longhorn development creeping along with no end in sight, Microsoft also worked to improve Windows XP, which would remain in the market for far longer than originally intended. There were various efforts along these lines in the early 2000s, from new XP product editions like Media Center and Tablet PC to various digital media- and home networking-related improvements and add-ons. But the biggest push, by far, was an internal project called Springboard that would dramatically elevate XP’s---and, as it turned out, Windows Server 2003’s---security posture.

Springboard ended up being such a big update that Microsoft could have shipped it as a new version of Windows on both client and server that would have sat between XP/Server 2003 and Longhorn. But instead, Windows lead Jim Allchin decided to do right by his customers and ship it as a free update. It was just one of several responsible and credible decisions that Allchin would make during Longhorn’s tortuous development process.

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