Is Avalon a black hole?

Dare gives a list of ways you can recognize white elephant projects. Included in the list:

  • They must involve throwing out some large existing codebase and rewriting everything from scratch, "the right way, this time."
  • They must have absurdly grandiose goals. Something like "fundamentally reimagine the way that people work with computers." Nobody, including the people who originate the goals, has a clear idea what the goals actually mean.
  • They must have completely unrealistic deadlines. Usually this is because they believe that they can rewrite the original codebase in much, much less time than it took to write that codebase in the first place.

And then a few minutes later I was reading an MSDN article about Avalon called Timing is Everything that seems to make claims about Avalon that meet many of the criterium in Dare's post. It says "I've heard people say "Longhorn is as big a change as Win95," or, "the Longhorn release will be as big as Win2000." Bigger: Longhorn will be the first time since Windows 1.0 that Microsoft has replaced its entire presentation stack, from HWNDs to the DDI."