Microsoft has admitted to not delivering on promises to customers with previous versions of its software, but has promised to do better by the time Longhorn hits the market.
"In the past we have not really taken as systematic an approach as we should have," Jawad Khaki, corporate vice president for Windows networking and device technologies, told delegates at WinHEC in Seattle.
"We put things together not really thinking through the end-to-end scenarios and this is why at times we have failed to deliver on the promises."
The ability for enterprises and consumers to create secure and easy to set up networks is critical for the success of the computer industry, according to Khaki.
Microsoft explained that consumers will only purchase multiple computers per household if they can connect them and create home networks. Similarly, enterprises will only embrace wireless solutions if they are convinced that they can depend on the infrastructure to work.
Khaki claimed that Microsoft had failed in the past to provide users with comprehensive tools to set up and manage Wi-Fi networks in Windows XP because wireless technology only became mainstream after the operating system was launched.
"One of the lessons we learned in Windows XP is that extensibility in the platform is key to enable industry advances," he said. "If this extensibility is not there in the Windows platform, it will slow things down."
To prevent the company from making the same mistake again, Khaki said that Microsoft will join the WiMedia Alliance, an industry consortium that sets the specifications for the Ultra Wide Band standard. UWB is a short range wireless technology for multi-media applications.
Microsoft also demonstrated technologies which it promises will simplify the set up and management of wireless networks.
To allow users to administer wireless networks, Longhorn will use the Link Layer Topology Discovery protocol.
A Network Mapper has also been provisioned that gives users an overview of the devices that are connected to their network, and lets them identify and solve problems without requiring outside assistance.
Longhorn will also use a technology called Qwave that monitors the available bandwidth on wireless networks. Applications would use the data to check for sufficient bandwidth before launching.
Windows Media Player, for instance, could warn the user that a video will not play at the optimum resolution because of a lack of bandwidth.
At last year's WinHEC Microsoft unveiled its Windows Smart Network Key, a USB memory key that automatically configures access points and PCs to form a wireless network.
It also debuted web services for devices, allowing users to connect networked appliances such as Ethernet printers or cameras that support wireless networking.
Instead of having to configure a network connection, the service allows the devices to be connected using the Windows plug and play subsystem.
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