Feeds

Microsoft sidelines Longhorn database caper

NTFS reprieved

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
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
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.