Windows File System To Be Enhanced

In its upcoming "Longhorn" version of the Windows .Net Server, Microsoft plans to pour a lot of innovation into the file system to allow such things as richer types of search and synchronization.

SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. intends once again to focus on the knowledge worker in the Longhorn version of its Windows .Net Server software, and will be pouring a lot of innovation into a new file system.

In one of the first public discussions of the Longhorn server family, Peter Houston, a senior director in Microsofts Windows server product management group, talked about the Redmond, Wash., software firms vision for the product at a Windows strategy session at the Windows Hardware Engineers Conference here late Thursday.

The Longhorn server suite will follow the Windows .Net Server family, the release of which has been delayed twice and which is now expected to be released to manufacturing by the year-end and in customer hands early in 2003.

Houston said as the server product had outgrown the current file system, where information was stored as a simple file. "There needs to be a greater richness in the file system," he said.

His comments echoed those of Jim Allchin, the group vice president of platforms at Microsoft, who earlier in the week told eWEEK Online that Microsoft was also investing heavily in new storage initiatives for Longhorn and beyond.

"I am unrepentant," Allchin said. "I want a storage system where you can issue flexible queries. There are so many things you could do if you had a heterogeneous store that had flexible queries."

In his talk Houston said there would be significant storage advances in the file system, allowing richer types of search and synchronization in the Longhorn servers, adding that notification services, real-time communications and other collaboration features would also be integrated into the product. Microsoft would also revolutionize collaboration via storage and media, and the Longhorn servers would include the full federation of .Net My Services, he said.

Federation was itself a "big investment area" for Microsoft going forward, Houston said, as it improved the ability of users to share information. Key technologies would be trust brokers, federated directory namespaces and Web protocols, he said.