WinFS lives

WinFS lives

Summary: Microsoft Watch's Mary Jo Foley has reported that WinFS -- the Longhorn file system that Bill Gates has referred to as the Holy Grail -- is back. Backported that is, to Windows XP.

TOPICS: Windows
Microsoft Watch's Mary Jo Foley has reported that WinFS -- the Longhorn file system that Bill Gates has referred to as the Holy Grail -- is back. Backported that is, to Windows XP. Along with Indigo and Avalon, two other pillars of Longhorn that are being backported to older versions of Windows, Foley reports "Nearly all of the 'original' Longhorn technologies are going to be made available for Windows XP." That XP will take on more and more of the features originally slated for Longhorn raises some obvious questions, the most important of which is whether or not Longhorn -- slated for delivery some time in 2006 -- will be compelling enough to make users want to upgrade. It also makes me wonder whether Longhorn will get pushed back (something that Intel wouldn't appreciate since that company's rollout of its LeGrande security technology will depend on Longhorn).

Upgrades have increasingly become an uphill battle for software companies as it becomes harder to find feature improvements that address more than a sliver of the market's needs. Microsoft need look no further than Windows XP to feel this pain. More than half of all Windows desktops in use today are still running pre-XP versions even though XP-only updates such as Service Pack 2 contain certain must-have features (particularly for security). Microsoft has felt the pinch on the other side of upgrades too. Whereas the company has released new versions of its flagship OS and encountered resistance to upgrades, it decided not to upgrade its browser Internet Explorer. But now, given the hit that Firefox has been, the company appears to have reconsidered that course of action.

Topic: Windows

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  • Do we care?

    Everyone has advanced file systems. JFS, XFS, J-UFS, VxFS and the model for WinFS - BeFS. Just because M$ won't support any other them doesn't mean that their file system is "better".
    Roger Ramjet
  • WinFS lives

    Contrasting the speed at which 3rd party vendors have created XAML tools for WinForms - are the real reasons for delays regarding Avalon/Longhorn to do with 'convergence' - Microsoft Business Solutions rolling out 'Wave 2' at the time Longhorn & Office 12 are released - the final blow to ISV's?!
  • Why Upgrade?

    Unless they release another intermediate, sucky, buggy OS before longhorn (think ME), which, because of all the bugs will force people to upgrade, the only real sales channel for Longhorn will be the OEMs. And with HW prices still falling, it will be the way to make LH crawl into the market. Then, they will make XP updates scarce, and they will withdraw advanced features from windowsupdate for XP, and have them only available for LH.
    Some OEMs, especially notebook computers manufacturers (HP in particular) won't offer XP drivers for models released after the LH released. (unlike Toshiba, that usually has a broad range of device drivers available for all of their models).
    It will be W2k vs. WXP all over again, and maybe even worse, since new software will be specifically designed for the new GUI methods, thus making them backwards-incompatible.
    For instance, the only reason for me to be using WXP on my current computer is that they do not offer W2k drivers or software, and based on a previous HP laptop computer I owned, it is a total hassle to downgrade it to W2k (which is by far the most stable OS i've worked with). And if downgrading my previous computer from XP to 2k took me about a month of driver digging and testing, I can't even begin to imagine the pain in the back a Linux switch would be.