Microsoft's much-vaunted and long-awaited Longhorn platform will be officially launched globally on 27 February next year under the banner: "Heroes Happen Here".
The worldwide launch will also see the simultaneous launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.
Manoj Bhoola, business group lead – server and tools, at Microsoft SA, says plans for the South African leg of the international launch – which will include a giant "morphed face" comprising thousands of individual images of global IT professionals and a "collector's edition" coffee table book – are well underway.
Bhoola says that the company will embark on a nationwide "Heroes Happen Here" roadshow in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and that it is already looking for local IT professionals to participate in the global launch theme.
"The whole launch of Longhorn is based on showcasing IT professionals from around the world and we have started the search in South Africa for those that have done something interesting with the platform," he says.
Bhoola says that Microsoft has learned some harsh lessons from the launch of Vista earlier this year and that the same mistakes won't be made for Longhorn.
"In our CPE surveys, a lot of IT professionals were very vocal about some of the features in Vista and some of the promised stuff that didn't make it," he says. "So we're going to make sure we don't do the same with Longhorn. So far we haven't seen any slip-ups with the key features and everything is on planned schedule."
Key features, of course, include Microsoft's virtualisation reply to VMWare and support for Novell's SuSe Linux.