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Update to the Update: More on WinFS June 28, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Opinions.

Quentin Clark over on the WinFS team has put up a contradiction, and confusing one at that on the state of WinFS and claims Microsoft basically hasnt thrown dirt in the grave yet.

Is WinFS dead?
Yes and No. Yes, we are not going to ship WinFS as a separate, monolithic software component. But the answer is also No – the vision remains alive and we are moving the technology forward. A lot of the technology really was database stuff – and we’re putting that into SQL and ADO. But some of the technology, especially the end user value points, are not ready, and we’re going to continue to work on that in incubation. Some or all of these technologies may be used by other Microsoft products going forward.

Still sounds like Cairo to me, if you want to go with his interpretation Cairo was never killed but was indeed placed in Windows 2000.  just because you release some of the technology from the product does not mean it shipped or was not killed.

Will the “Relational Filesystem” ever be in Windows?
Hey – we are very busy finishing Vista, and just aren’t ready to talk about what comes next. The vision for a richer storage in Windows is very much alive.  With the new tools for searching and organizing information in Windows Vista, we are taking a good step towards that vision.  “

Basic interpretation, i doubt it.  Fast indexing and Desktop Search are “Good enough” and sadly thats Microsofts mantra.  Personally when if Microsoft makes anouther announcement about a relation filesystem I wont give it a second thought

Why are parts of WinFS going into SQL Server?
We have a vision around data that guides us we call the “Data Platform Vision”. We’ve been talking with customers about this for some time, and we have heard consistent positive feedback. It was clear that the integrated storage and automation features of WinFS will help SQL Server deliver on the “Beyond Relational” and “Continuous Availability and Automation” promises of that vision. We decided to focus resources on delivering these technologies to our customers as part of the Data Platform Vision in the near term.”

This has no impact on the end user, which Microsoft had intended for WinFS.  As I stated, just becuse you move a set of technolgies into another product from another does not mean its alive and well.  To me this seems like Quentin is trying to justify the move

What is a ship vehicle? Why does it matter that WinFS is not a “separate ship vehicle”?
A ship vehicle is the method in which we bring a technology to market. This could be a separate product release, a service pack to an existing product, or an integrated technology in a larger product platform. We announced the removal of WinFS from Longhorn two years ago, and talked about WinFS being a separate ship vehicle. But we are no longer are planning to release a separate WinFS delivery vehicle.

Knitpicking over a “ship vehicle”, I have now seen and heard it all.

So what does this say to me.  Well it reitirates the death of WinFS.

Quentin and the rest of the crew at Microsoft are missing two points.  The first being, it has had two chances to deliver this technology and failed.  regardless of ship vehicle, regardless of where parts of the technology are being shipped.  The second point being that Microsoft had billed WinFS as one of the Pillars of Longhorn, basically that got a sledge hammer smashed into it.  That had many people thinking they were serious about it this time.  Well, we see what happened. With the new plans it will not directly affect the end user as per the original design plans so I dont even see their current plans as being in the vision of what WinFS was intended.  What Quentin has done with this update to me, is simply trying to justify killing the product before it even hit the streets.  They can knitpick and scream into the clouds all they want that WinFS is not dead.  Its dead, I am almost certain there will not be a product called WinFS.

Link to story 

EDIT:  I dont know Quentin Clark, have never met him and this should not be seen as an attack on him personally, its not.



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