Feeds

Microsoft sidelines Longhorn database caper

NTFS reprieved

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft has scaled back its 'Big Bang', and its Future Storage initiative will build on, rather than supersede the NTFS file system, when the next version of Windows 'Longhorn' appears in 2005.

The news emerged from WinHEC last week as Paul Thurrot confirms in a round-up here.

"The oft-misunderstood Windows Future Storage (WinFS), which will include technology from the "Yukon" release of SQL Server, is not a file system," reports Thurrot. "Instead, WinFS is a service that runs on top of - and requires - NTFS."

There seems to be some confusion over at ComputerWorld, which maintains that "WinFS replaces the NTFS and FAT32 file systems used in current Windows versions," but we're inclined to back Paul on this one, as he supports his case with a direct quote.

"WinFS sits on top of NTFS. It sits on top of the file system. NTFS will be a requirement," says Microsoft's Mark Myers. (InfoWorld also refers to a WinFS as a "file system"). Myers is an 'OEM Manufacturing Program Manager' at Microsoft, whatever that means.

This much is clear: technology will be'borrowed' from Yukon, the next version of Microsoft's SQL Server, but the core will be a NTFS, not a new native raw format which only the local copy of SQL Server can read.

As first revealed here almost two years ago (when the next version of Windows was codenamed Blackcomb), "SQL Server itself becomes the base storage engine, and NTFS becomes an API-compatible driver into the store."

With so much planned for Longhorn, replacing a debugged and mature file system may have proved too radical. At least for now. Microsoft can portray this as a stepping stone to a raw native database, and as the BeOS experience proved, you don't have to have a database at the core of the system to provide database-like functionality.

Microsoft has the same goal as before, but is opting for an evolutionary rather a revolutionary route.

Also planned for Longhorn is a new graphics engine that throws much of the work onto the graphics card, much like Apple's Quartz Extreme [926kb PDF], or Stardock's WindowFX [vendor]. The new Longhorn GUI is called Aero (surely it's just an elemental coincidence that Apple's is called Aqua) and will require a graphics card with 128MB of memory.

Longhorn will drop support for FAT and FAT32 file systems.

Thurrot identifies WinFS as a service - but how long will it take for the world+dog to note that the 'FS' in WinFS does not stand for 'file system'? ®

Related Stories

Windows on a database - sliced and diced by BeOS vets
Sun talks future systems, N1, and WinFS
Windows Longhorn leaks again
Aqua eye-candy comes to the PC

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.