Next week Microsoft will give a sneak peek of its next-generation Windows during a conference in Seattle. The company expects to launch Longhorn in late 2006. The new Windows will offer improved search, better security, messaging software for web services and a high-resolution 3D imaging interface.
``If Web services begin to emerge, one will need the new version of Windows Longhorn and possibly the new version of Office to take advantage of these offerings,'' observed Rick Sherlund, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, which provides investment banking services to Microsoft. He estimates that Longhorn could generate between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in revenue the first 18 months after its launch.