This weekend, I finally had a chance to install my PDC Longhorn bits. I am late to the Longhorn party, but I finally made it.
I had been waiting to get an external hard drive for my laptop, and finally got a 120 GB external 7200 RPM drive, with full USB 2.0 support. I also waited for the release version of Virtual PC 2004, as I had some problems on my Windows Server 2003 OS with the beta version that came with the PDC Longhorn DVDs.
One great thing about waiting awhile to install the Longhorn bits is that I have access to the trials, successes, and failures of others who have managed to install Longhorn before me. Lots of developers have described waiting many hours, if not a day, for the installation to finish when using Virtual PC, but I found my install to be relatively “painless and quick” with approximately two hours of waiting (my expectation was to wait for the full day, so two hours was quick to me). My approach was to set Virtual PC with 400 MB of memory, unlimited use of disk space on the extrernal drive, and to install Longhorn from an ISO image that was placed on the external drive as well. I think this made the difference, because when I installed Whidbey and the Longhorn SDK, I DID have to wait at least 8 hours for the install to finish because I installed from the DVD instead of a copy on the external drive.
Now I can start testing and learning some of the newer features of Longhorn. Plus, there is a lot of good initial information available on Longhorn so that I have some guides to help me get going without completely moving ahead in the dark. Update: This should help a great deal -- Longhorn Developer's FAQ.