Getting time with Microsoft’s Jim Allchin used to be as easy as gaining an audience with the pope. But these days Microsoft’s No. 3 executive is popping up all over the place–even reworking his busy schedule to sup with (gasp!) bloggers.
It’s not a role that comes naturally to the normally reclusive Allchin. A brainy but reserved uber-geek, Allchin would much prefer hashing over code questions with developers than sit down with a bunch of infernally annoying reporters. But the company’s future depends on his transformation into a veritable Mr. Accessible–and a persuasive Mr. Accessible, at that.
Can he do it? More than Bill Gates, more than Steve Ballmer, it’s Allchin who must convince opinion makers and the all-important OEM community that Longhorn, the code name for the next major operating system from Microsoft, is worth the wait. And then the rest of us have to be convinced that Longhorn is the next must-have product in their lives.
Microsoft group VP Jim Allchin realizes the rest of us may need help sorting out what’s so special about Microsoft’s next-generation operating system. So the 15-year company veteran has come up with his own list of Longhorn highlights.
"There’s so much in Longhorn, it’s hard to figure what are the things that are just over the top that people will appreciate," Allchin said in a recent interview. With that in mind, Microsoft’s top Windows exec (chief software architect Bill Gates excluded) ranks the following among his top Longhorn features: