Microsoft today released Beta 1 of their new product named WinFS. And yes, WinFS does not stand for Windows File System. It stands for Windws "Future Storage". So what is so futuristic about WinFS. Nothing, if you ask me !!
Well not really, to give microsoft its due, WinFS does have its advantages and its bringing to the desktop what Sun's Project Honeycomb aims to bring to the enterprise (Ok, OSX Tiger/spotlight already implements most of this stuff already, but we'll get to that later ;). WinFS is not a new filesystem. It does not replace NTFS. What Microsoft has done is basically used the core of SQL server and sandwiched it between NTFS and an upper layer API for developers to take advantage of the underlying engine. The implications of doing so would be that users would now be able to relate files with each other, probably by using tags or by using the SQL engine to form relations between files, much like an RDBMS. You can find more details here and here.
This concept isn't new. BeOS implemented some of these technologies successfully in its BeFS. OS X has done it in the recent past and Linux with Beagle is almost there. Oh Yeah, For Winduh !! users this would be a totally new and cool thing. All the best to them ;)
Tags: microsoft,WinFS,SQL,Linux,OS X