Directions and Roadmaps

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-06-27 Print this article Print

So, what you are saying is that customers told you they would rather see you productizing the mature aspects of the WinFS project into SQL and ADO.NET at the expense of Windows and Office, right? We havent commented on the Windows direction and roadmap post Vista. Right now we are not talking about post-Vista plans for Windows and we are only saying that these technologies will be included in SQL Server and that we will not have the monolithic software component of WinFS in beta 2 form. That does not preclude us from using these technologies in Windows going forward.
But one of the things the Windows team has said is that WinFS would be made available as an add-on subsequent to the release of Windows Vista. So how will these technologies now find their way into Windows going forward?
Well, to be clear, there will now not be a WinFS add-on subsequent to the release of Vista. But we are still focused on the integrated storage vision for SQL Server, Windows and everyone else. That is what we are trying to accomplish; the end goal. But what we have announced is how this will happen with SQL Server, but we are not talking about how that will happen for Windows post-Vista, although I will say that we delivered a good amount of the original vision inside Vista, but we are not talking about what the next version of Windows will look like. So are you saying that the goal of a single, integrated store for Windows, Office and SQL Server data is still alive and well? The integrated storage goals are still there, alive and well. We have decided not to have a stand-alone software component that shipped post-Vista, but those goals are still there. But we are still real early in the planning cycle and are not talking about that. So, to be clear, there is still the possibility of a single, integrated store for Windows and Office and SQL down the line? Yes, Windows could leverage the technologies that are in WinFS in future versions. There is a lot of unhappiness about this decision as many people wanted to see Microsoft integrate the relational file system with the Win32 API. They are now concerned that this is not going to happen at all. Is that the case? That is an incorrect assumption as we have only talked about one aspect of our vision around the data platform and we have received positive feedback around that. A lot of people are asking about the roadmap going forward, and we are just not discussing that at this point in time. We are really focused on making sure we deliver Vista, which we think is a great release, and which delivers a lot of the WinFS experience we first talked about with regard to search and organization. There is some speculation as people dont know and we are not in a position to disclose more as we are focused on Vista right now. What components of WinFS are in Windows Vista? In terms of the goals of integrated storage, we delivered on a good number of those in Vista, especially for the end users. I think the search experience in Vista and the ability it brings to better manage information were core to what we talked about and are in Vista. If you separate out the different constituencies, end users will have an amazing experience with Vista around search and the organization of information. And, for the programmers, we actually have some pretty robust programming stuff with the WinFX and .Net stuff that will be in the next version of .Net. But there is some angst about when the pure relational file system will show up and what is going to happen there. Next Page: Windows Live.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel