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WinFS, Avalon & Indigo to be available on XP

Jung

???
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#1
http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1772619,00.asp
Friday, March 04, 2005
WinFS To Be Available on Windows XP
By Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft may not be willing to talk file-system futures, but it is working to back-port its future file-system technology to Windows XP.

Microsoft is back-porting its WinFS file-system technology to Windows XP, the same way that it is doing with its Windows presentation and communications subsystems, according to company officials.
The acknowledgement is significant, given that Microsoft has been reticent to offer any details on WinFS since the company decided in August to cut the WinFS information storage and retrieval feature from both the client and server versions of Longhorn.

Longhorn client is set to ship in 2006; Longhorn server in 2007, according to Microsoft.

Company officials have declined repeatedly to project when or how Microsoft would deliver WinFS to developers and customers. Microsoft's silence had led some industry watchers to speculate that WinFS would be relegated to the fate of "Cairo," the object file system that Microsoft touted throughout the 1990s but never managed to deliver.

A year ago, WinFS was slated to be one of the four main pillars of Longhorn. The other three, which are still set to be part of the next-gen Windows release, are the "Avalon" presentation subsystem; the "Indigo" communications subsystem; and the "Fundamentals" technologies that will improve Windows performance, security and reliability.

Microsoft decided to back-port both Avalon and Indigo to older versions of Windows — Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 — in order to maintain backward compatibility and help seed the application-development market, officials said. But it made no such promises for WinFS, which resulted in many developer, customer and industry-watcher questions about WinFS' fate.

WinFS isn't dead, Tom Rizzo, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server, recently told Microsoft Watch. In fact, Microsoft is planning to provide an update on the technology at this year's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in September, he said.

Rizzo said that Microsoft is busily back-porting the WinFS file-system technology to Windows XP.

It's unclear if Microsoft also is porting WinFS to Windows Server 2003, but such a move would be likely, given that the Redmond software vendor is doing so with Avalon and Indigo.

The end result? Nearly all of the "original" Longhorn technologies are going to be made available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. There will still be some technologies unique to Longhorn, namely, the "Fundamentals." But will that be enough to convince users to upgrade?

Back-porting WinFS to Windows XP "could send a signal to customers that there's really no need to upgrade," said Robert McLaws, president and chief software architect with Interscape Technologies, the company behind the LonghornBlogs.com Web site. "Microsoft needs to be really solid about explaining their intentions" in order to keep customers from balking, he added.
But such a move is necessary, if Microsoft is serious about WinFS working in end-to-end scenarios, said Michael Cherry, Senior Analyst with the Kirkland, Wash., research firm Directions on Microsoft.

"For a file system to work it has to work in a lot of places," Cherry said. "FAT (File Allocation Table) still lives because it works on so many devices. So if Microsoft wants WinFS to take off and be useful and adopted, then it has to be widely available—work everywhere I want to work with my files (my information)."
I wonder if these features will actually make it into the XP GUI, or if they'll just be low level extensions to Explorer. If it's the latter, I can't really see where Microsoft is coming from with this; seems to be a horrible marketing deciscion.
 

Descent

Hella Constipated
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I was supposed to get Longhorn today but the dumbass logged off at 10:00 AM.

Longhorn = M$ last version of Windows. A forbes analyst noticed the company's current condition, and is smelling the "faint signs of rot."

This is the same guy who predicted SGI's death, as well as DEC's...

Funny, I'm no Forbes ananlyst and I've known this since Summer '04, and I didn't even enter the building!

Problems include delays for big products, trouble getting them out the door, poor organization, and critical team members leaving.

70% of M$'s profits come from Windows. They will slowly lose market share to a Win32 compatible form of Linux, and then die out as a major player.

The dark ages are coming to an end.
 

Diesel

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Descent said:
Longhorn = M$ last version of Windows. A forbes analyst noticed the company's current condition, and is smelling the "faint signs of rot."

This is the same guy who predicted SGI's death, as well as DEC's...

Funny, I'm no Forbes ananlyst and I've known this since Summer '04, and I didn't even enter the building!
Seriously, you need to preface this crap as "uninformed opinion", and don't present it as fact, especially if you're not going to include a source for your "Forbes analyst".

Longhorn will not be MS's last version of Windows. Windows is still, by a huge margin, the most popular server OS platform on the market, and by an even greater amount, the most popular desktop OS platform.
Linux, to put it very simply, is not ready for mainstream "mom & pop" desktop installations. 95% of computer users out there can't even figure out how to manage their own workstation using GUI tools, much less requiring them to figure out how to use a CLI. For the power users, it's one thing... for grandma who wants to get email, it's something totally different.

And aside from Linux, there are NO serious contenders to take over the desktop OS market. None. There's not even anything on the horizon as an "up-and-comer", so to suggest that MS won't produce anymore OS's is ludicrous. The time it takes for Windows to die out in the OS market will be measured in decades, not product cycles.
 

Jung

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If anything, Mac is the closest contender in the desktop market - they've made leaps and bounds in popularity since the release of OS X 10.2. Even then, most people are ignorant to the world of Macs, and couldn't live without the software they've come accustom to using on Windows.

As far as Linux, it was never intended to be a Windows replacement. I'm sure most of the open source community, and Linus himself, would agree. Linux has it's own niche market, in which it's highly regarded, but outside of that it sees very little publicity. Furthermore, Linux is no where near being idiot proof, or being easy for your aunt Mable to use. Hell, you failed at installing Linux yourself.

There are a few new OS projects out there (that aren't based on *Nix), a more notable one is Sky OS, which is still in it's very early stages. Even so, I have to wonder if this will just be another "Linux; it's not Windows, so whatever." type thing.
 

Descent

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When I say "Last Version" I mean last viable version.

Think about it: The innovations that will be present in Longhorn are enough to keep M$ from releasing Blackcomb for a while, IMO. Let's not forget how long they whored around the 9x series before actually replacing it...
 

Jung

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Descent said:
When I say "Last Version" I mean last viable version.
Perhaps I'm just tired, but that made no sense.
I always get a kick out of seeing that from Microsoft users.
 

Diesel

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junglizm said:
If anything, Mac is the closest contender in the desktop market - they've made leaps and bounds in popularity since the release of OS X 10.2. Even then, most people are ignorant to the world of Macs, and couldn't live without the software they've come accustom to using on Windows.
The reason I don't include Macs is because they're so closely tied to the hardware platform, a platform which is costlier, and price is still the bottom line for the vast majority of computer users out there.
Dell had $400 PCs long before Apple came out with a $500 Mac Mini. I agree that OS X is leaps and bounds compared to the earlier offerings, but most people are still stuck with computers they know how to operate, hardware they can easily find anywhere, and software that's much more widely available, and they're not going to give that up easily.

Should their popularity increase, yes, they will definitely make a dent in the market, but until they unbind their OS from the hardware (which is an age-old argument that's still valid), they're not going to move ahead noticably from their current level until they're able to start undercutting the price of a low-end PC.

Descent said:
Think about it: The innovations that will be present in Longhorn are enough to keep M$ from releasing Blackcomb for a while, IMO. Let's not forget how long they whored around the 9x series before actually replacing it...
Sorry, but that argument is invalidated by history.
The innovations that were present in XP didn't stop them from releasing Longhorn a significant amount of time.
MS has never deviated from their schedule of releasing new OS's in a timely fashion, and pretty much right on schedule in terms of how long it takes them to get to market.
1995 - Win95
1996 - WinNT4
1998 - Win98
2000 - Win2k
2000 - WinME
2001 - WinXP
2003 - Win2k3

That's a 9x kernel released roughly every 3 years, and an NT kernel released roughly every 2-3.
As it is, MS is on schedule if they release Longhorn this year, and there's no reason to suggest, based on MS's product release history, that the follow up wouldn't come by 2008.
 

Descent

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Yes, they are on schedule, but frankly I'm seeing such a lack of innovation with GUI's these days, that I think nobody really cares. At this point, the UI is what is making me enjoy a system.

Longhorns seems much improved, although I haven't run it yet.

Mac I hate because of the dock.

Windows XP I hate because of the buttons/wizards

Windows 2000 I love because it is 01D s(h001, and it's a perfect mix between power and function.
 

Diesel

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Descent said:
Yes, they are on schedule, but frankly I'm seeing such a lack of innovation with GUI's these days, that I think nobody really cares. At this point, the UI is what is making me enjoy a system.

Longhorns seems much improved, although I haven't run it yet.
Wow, that's like 3 contradictions in a row.

1. You're seeing a lack of innovation with GUIs.
2. You think that no one cares.
3. The UI is what makes you enjoy a system (contradiction of #2)
4. Longhorn's seems much improved (contraction to #1)

As for your other gripes (Mac's dock, XP's buttons, etc), those are all eye-candy. They have nothing to do with the true functionality of an OS. If you're focused on a GUI, you're focused on the absolute least important aspects of an OS. Look at Linux, where the GUI is totally anciliary to the actual OS, to the point where you can switch GUI interfaces on a whim.

You should be concentrating on the important aspects of the OS... things like stability, functionality, compatability, hardware/software integration, etc.
 

Descent

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Diesel said:
You should be concentrating on the important aspects of the OS... things like stability, functionality, compatability, hardware/software integration, etc.
That's what I mainly look for. I just can't stand the wizards and shit, and the Dock isn't all that great for multitasking, IMO. It feels cluttered.

Yeah, and forget about the GUI shit. 1:25 A.M. = Brain farts.
 

Jung

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#11
Descent said:
That's what I mainly look for. I just can't stand the wizards and shit
I don't put much importance on an OS's GUI; it's never been a deciding factor for me. Sure, the pretty animations and such are cool, but they add nothing to functionality, and often become annoying. I also hate Xp's default themes.

It took me forever to decide to switch to Gnome on Linux, I use BlackBox for a number of years. I like it now, but I still disable a lot of the eye candy.

The wizards are there to make it easier for unskilled users to complete their tasks, so I can understand them. I just wish more of them gave you the option to use an "expert" or "advanced" mode.
and the Dock isn't all that great for multitasking, IMO. It feels luttered.
A lot of people have that same complaint, until they get used to it. I felt the same way, but it's actually quite useful. I'm not sure what the dock has to do with multitasking though.

OS X just handles the way programs are minimized differently; I can minimize any app located on the dock to the regular icon, then click it again to maximize it back. Alternately, I can hit F9 which brings up thumbnails of all my running programs (which update in real time), F10 which shows only windows for the focused app or F11 to show the desktop. This is one of the few "wow" effects that I actually like about OS X. (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/expose/)
 

Diesel

Clitpickle
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Descent said:
That's what I mainly look for. I just can't stand the wizards and shit, and the Dock isn't all that great for multitasking, IMO. It feels cluttered.
So, getting back to your original point, which is that XP/2k3 is MS's last OS because they're no logner innovating, how are they not innovating?

XP and 2k3 feature significant improvements over 9x/2k in every one of the areas I listed, which you seem to agree are the things that are important in an OS. In terms of stability, performance, hardware/software integration, functionality, ease-of-use, compatability, etc. XP and 2k3 are leaps and bounds better than anything MS released before them, and keeps the other OS vendors on their toes in terms of having to add new functionality to their releases.

I'm not saying that Windows is a perfect OS. It's got a ton of flaws, especially in the security aspect, but it's a decent product that most people couldn't use their computers without, but like to bash because it's made by MS, and bashing MS is the "hip" and "trendy" thing to do. Microsoft is a shitty company for a lot of reasons, but if all of those people who bash them had to make the switch to another OS overnight, there'd be a very small number of computer users the next day.

Back in the day, the primary thing about Mac's were that they were easy to use. With OS X adding in a lot of flexibility and functionality, I now question if Windows has actually caught up in the ease of use dept.
Linux is certainly nowhere in the same arena in that aspect, and I'm a big fan of Linux.

But you have to recognize that, when Grandma can go online, get her email, and read her horoscope in 5 mouse clicks or less, MS is doing something right with their OS.