Microsoft releases Windows file system beta
It's available to Microsoft Developer Network subscribers
IDG News Service - Microsoft Corp. today 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 won't be a part of the next version of Windows, Windows Vista, when it ships at the end of next year, but it 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 was originally scheduled to be part of Windows Vista, but Microsoft canceled that plan a year ago (see "Microsoft won't ship WinFS with Longhorn"). WinFS promises to make it easier for users to search and organize their files on the Windows operating system, Clark said.
The beta of WinFS includes a set of 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 will also ask for developer feedback on the WinFS beta at its Professional Developers Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles Sept. 13-16. Microsoft won't make another beta release available this year, but it expects to release several more test versions of WinFS between the initial beta and the final release of the file system, Clark said.
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