Microsoft releases Windows file system beta

Microsoft has released a test version of its next-generation file system, WinFS, well ahead of schedule.

The software giant made the first beta of the new file system available to Microsoft Developer Network subscribers, according to a company spokesman. Developers had not expected to see a test version of WinFS until next year, according to a previous timeline provided by Microsoft.

WinFS will not be a part of the next version of Windows, Windows Vista, when it ships at the end of next year, but will be available to the operating system as an add-on release sometime in 2007, said Quentin Clark, director of program management for WinFS at Microsoft.

The technology originally was scheduled to be part of Windows Vista but Microsoft cancelled that plan in August 2004. WinFS promises to make it easier for users to search and organise their files on the Windows operating system, Clark said.

When Microsoft first introduced WinFS in 2003, the company said it would include a new synchronisation engine that could index a host of disparate Windows files -- such as photos, e-mails, MP3s and documents -- in a way that would enable users to more easily search and catalog these files on their PC, said Joe Wilcox, senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

"Originally there were capabilities around synchronisation and search -- among others -- that looked very promising," he said.

However, with the changes Microsoft has made to the availability of WinFS since then, it has been unclear what features will be available in the final version. The test version may answer some of these questions, Wilcox said.

The beta of WinFS includes a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) and schemas that allow developers to start working with the new file system and get accustomed to the new data model, Clark said.

Microsoft is putting a lot of thought and care into WinFS because it is the file system that will drive Windows for a whole new generation of users, he said. "As a file system technology, it's important we get it right," Clark said.

Microsoft also will ask for developer feedback on the WinFS beta at its Professional Developers Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles from September 13 to September 16. Microsoft will not make another beta release available this year, but expects there will be several more test versions of WinFS released between the initial beta and the final release of the file system, Clark said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?