But the situation probably won't be as grim as many developers fear. Early milestone builds of Windows 8 have leaked onto the Internet, and considerable effort has been put into figuring out how they work. Though officially tight-lipped, snippets of information have escaped Redmond's walls. So far, it appears that Windows 8 development doesn't just look not bad—there are signs that it will actually resolve many long-standing annoyances with writing Windows software. If Microsoft can pull off everything it's hoping to achieve with the platform, Windows 8 will be as important and radical a release as Windows Longhorn was going to be.