Microsoft just took the wraps off its newest endeavor: The Longhorn operating system. Not expected to debut until 2006, the platform is expected to fold in a lot of new features, including identity management.To prepare developers and IT professionals for Longhorn's arrival, Microsoft has opened the Longhorn Developer Center. There you'll find all the information you need to get your arms around Microsoft's plans. The company has done a great job of making this area easy to access and navigate.Some parts of the site rely on tools developers received at last month's Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, while others require Microsoft Developers Network membership.However, here are areas on the site that are wide open to visitors and are chock-full of information. There is an article on writing and deploying applications for Longhorn. This gives you tips on what you'll need to succeed with the new operating system.In fact, there is a whole area dedicated to preparing for Longhorn. On this part of the site, you'll find a developer's guide for interoperability and migration in Longhorn. It also shows you related developer sites that are tightly woven with Longhorn.The editor of the site, Chris Sells, keeps an ongoing blog about the latest happenings in the Longhorn community. He includes a few entries that explain what he calls the "pillars" that Longhorn is built on, as well as descriptions of each pillar.A section on training and events, which will be critical around the time Longhorn is released, lets you know where Longhorn is going to be talked up - conferences, trade shows, etc. There are also MSDN Webcasts available to view.Longhorn is just one of the many products and initiatives that Microsoft has developed centers for. You'll also find centers for .Net, security, Visual Studio and Windows Server 2003, among others (see https:\/\/msdn.microsoft.com\/ for the complete list).I encourage you browse through the information Microsoft has put together. Getting a handle on Longhorn now will save you frustration later.