Once again, Brian Valentine's mouth seems to have started running away before his brain could engage with on-again, off-again pronouncements about versions of Longhorn and Blackcomb, the follow-ons to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, respectively. Once again, Brian Valentine's mouth seems to have started running away before his brain could engage with on-again, off-again pronouncements about versions of\u00a0Longhorn\u00a0and\u00a0Blackcomb, the follow-ons to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, respectively. Maybe there'll be a server and client version of each. Maybe there won't, as server and client introductions are staggered. Maybe there'll only be incremental, modular operating system releases. And maybe, just maybe, it doesn't matter now. But the senior vice president of the Windows division has got everyone talking about the Windows operating system, hasn't he?I first came across young Valentine in the late 1980s when he was a brash new engineering manager in Microsoft's networking area (LANManager at the time). I was a volunteer system operator for Novell's NetWire forum on CompuServe. A new voice had started swooping into the NetWire forum and promoting this new network operating system from Microsoft, which, of course, fueled the wrath of the NetWare faithful.A little investigation showed that the messages were originating inside Microsoft. A little further investigation (and thanks to some friends who were volunteers in the Microsoft forums on CompuServe), the identity of the poster, one Brian Valentine, was exposed. Did he slink off with his tail between his legs? If you even thought that, then you don't know him.Rather, he continued to laud "his" network operating system while, all the time, learning more about NetWare than anyone except those actually working for Novell. The culmination of all this was a planned appearance by Valentine at the annual NetWire pub crawl at Dick's Last Resort during that fall's NetWorld-Dallas trade show. There were a few hundred people there that night, partially for lead system operator John McCann's bachelor party, but many just wanted to see if Valentine would show up. Not only did he show up, but he stole the show with his gifts of Microsoft network products for all of the NetWire system operators.The next time you think Valentine's mouth is getting him in trouble, take another look at the result.Tip of the weekI won\u2019t be joining you next week in Salt Lake City for Brainshare. For the first time since 1987, I won\u2019t be on hand for this gathering of the NetWare faithful. But it\u2019s just a one year hiatus; I\u2019ll be back next year. Do be sure to drop me a note telling me all about your impressions of the show.