Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Geez, Apparently Anyone is an Expert These Days

I love Engadget. But apparently these days, they'll link to anyone. Consider this post: the blog they link to has a single post int it, puportedly with "inside information" about the next two Windows releases. The problem is, the information they link to is grossly inaccurate. For one thing, Microsoft would never put out a release that "completely breaks backwards compatibility" as a feature, and for another... WinFS as we knew it is long dead. But that's just the start... almost all of this information is completely made up.

The folks at Engadget usually know what they're talking about, but this is just irresponsible. But Engadget aren't the only ones that screwed up, their source was Slashdot, whose source was PCLaunches.com, whose source was this one-post wonder.

What a wonderful New Year's game of "telephone". If you're looking for real and accurate Windows news, there are several other great news sources you should trust. PCLaunches.com is definitely not one of them.

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Comments

  • Jamie said:

    I saw that article on Slashdot and thought the exact same thing...  No doubt there will be a lot of great enhancements to Windows in coming years, but so much can change over the development cycle (just like with Vista) that it seems nearly impossible to predict features at this point...  especially made up features like these.  Let's just sit back and enjoy Vista for a while, then we can worry about future releases.

    December 30, 2006 9:57 PM
  • Douglas said:

    How about this thread from microsoft.public.windows.developer.winfx.winfs

    (sorry mail didn't copy the posts in order.)

    Basically with ADO orcas we will have everything that was WinFS minus the datastore, predefined schemas, and the sync (albeit very huge items in that group)

    It would be very easy to implement entities into a datastore on top of ntfs at that point. The hard part will be the Shell implementation, sync would also need to be implemented.

    The difference will be we won't get WinFS in ONE big Package, we will get most of it in Orcas (.net 3.5 with the addition that it will have a query language built in with Linq)

    From preliminaries we will see early datastore support in sql v.next. (unconfirmed but it appears that katmai will fully support and understand entities) Katmai would be the basis for the Server side entity support, and the basis for the store engine for Exchange, and other server products that either use sql now or will drop jet to go to sql.

    Well anyway the next 2 to 5 years will be interesting in the Data Platform. My only hope is support for the new document store (zip with xml internals, is natively supported) so that the open xml formats and the xml paper specs.

    well anyway below this is the item from the news group is from a msft employee.

    Sorry guys,

    But this newsgroup is intended for discussions of anything related to WinFS

    and not more. Anything related to file systems as NTFS must be placed under

    other newsgroups.

    --

    Danila A. Kornev [MSFT]

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Hello Roman,

    As far as I can say you WinFS is not a whole file system as far as we all

    determine the file system term. WinFS is a relational file system (as it is

    positioned) but it doesn't mean that you can get the hard disk drive and

    format it in WinFS. No. Instead WinFS uses NTFS as underlying platform and

    reuses SQL Server 2005 functionality with CLR integrated into it that

    provides us UDTs as .NET classes. All the data stored in WinFS must be one of

    the types either described in the assemblies installed with WinFS (.NET

    classes as UDTs are described as XML schemas and stored in assemblies) or in

    3rd party assemblies provided by other companies as well. That means that

    anything stored in WinFS is a special class and so all the data is structured

    one. All data is stored in SQL Server and NTFS. Why so? The problem is that

    SQL Server provides an opportunity to save data that is simple to search for

    and retrieve from server. But there are some kinds of data that can't be

    recognized and stored in SQL Server like media files. Say you can store some

    data about media file and then perform a search against it but it is not

    possible to search for the media part (sound or sound composition) using text

    search - there is no such mechanism to describe sound in text. Instead you

    can store some data about this sound (or any other type of media file) and

    this "data about data" is called metadata. Metadata already exists that mean

    that you can store some information about tracks (MP3 tags) or documents

    (Word Documents Properties like Author, Comments, and Revision etc.). The

    second problem is that not any file has metadata in its format. Say you can

    add metadata to Photoshop media file but there is no way to add some data for

    text documents in txt format. WinFS brings a standard way to describe data

    items of different types (Contacts, Documents and so on) and a standard way

    for storing and adding metadata for them. In fact WinFS stores anything that

    can be used in search in it while the data that can't be retrieved by

    particular search (say you can't query for the sound track itself, instead

    you can query for its name etc.) is stored in NTFS. WinFS brings the

    opportunity to work with data as with OOP objects (.NET classes) that makes

    data management even more powerful than it is available as of now. After

    WinFS installation you'll notice some changes - you'll find some new shell

    namespace extensions that would be stored in My Computer folder. They will

    provide you an access to data stored in WinFS in a simple way. Say extension

    for Contacts would be "Personal Contacts" extension in My Computer, for

    Documents - "Documents", for videos and pictures - "Pictures & Videos" you've

    got the idea. There are some ways to retrieve similar types of data from the

    file system itself by using such mechanisms as Windows Desktop Search but

    they are not such powerful as WinFS. The difference is that while WinFS

    stores data (say files) in it itself tools like Windows Desktop Search (and

    Windows Search in Windows Vista) index existing files stored in the

    particular file system (NTFS) and the actuality of the search very hard

    depends on the period of re-indexing time. WinFS performs the search across

    the data itself against those tools that search against the indexed image of

    actual data. This is the very big difference between traditional file search

    utilities and WinFS.

    Also WinFS provides a powerful mechanism of relationships between different

    data stored in it. First of all it is very important to understand that WinFS

    presents the new abstraction for data management named Item. Anything in the

    world that can be described in text terms derives from Item. Say apple is

    type of fruit and fruit is type of Item etc. So WinFS makes it easy to relate

    different types of data like Documents and Contacts. You can relate them by

    themselves (say Document.RelatedContacts retrieves you the collection of

    related contacts) or relate by their properties (say Document.RelatedContacts

    retrieves you the collection of the contacts if the Document property Author

    contains the names of those contacts). This features a new way of interacting

    with data. Say you are going to find someone in your Personal Contacts

    folder. You’ve found it (simply by listing the whole collection of contacts

    stored in your machine, or by input of a number of filters) and now you will

    be able to query for related items like Documents (this contact sent you),

    Media items (this contact listen to), Emails (this contact sent you) and so

    on. You will click on of the Documents related to this contact and the

    appreciate application starts and opens this document. WinFS doesn’t know

    what that application is instead the WinFS storage watcher does all that work

    and runs the related application.

    Also WinFS provides such great features like synchronization between

    different data silos to it. All these features makes WinFS the best way to

    store and manage data in your computer.

    --

    Danila A. Kornev [MSFT]

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    "roman modic" wrote:

    > Hello!

    >

    > "Gnter Prossliner" <g.prossliner/gmx/at> wrote in message news:eHHf5HDIHHA.1468@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...

    > >> But this newsgroup is intended for discussions of anything related to

    > >> WinFS and not more. Anything related to file systems as NTFS must be

    > >> placed under other newsgroups.

    > >

    > > This newsgroup is as dead as WinFS.

    >

    > http://www.aeroxp.org/board/index.php?showtopic=7101

    > [quote]

    > Awesome, I was really hoping that WinFS wasn't gone forever! To tell you

    > the truth, deep down I didn't expect it to be gone forever. It is far too powerful

    > and helpful for every aspect of IT for Microsoft to just ditch it. I am going to

    > make a prediction about the release of WinFS. I suspect that it will be

    > converted into a full file system of its own and added to Windows Vienna.

    > What do all of you think?

    > [/quote]

    >

    > http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/dailyarchives.jhtml?articleId=196600671

    > [quote]

    > At the Windows Vista business launch Thursday in New York, Microsoft CEO

    > Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the Redmond, Wash., company bit off more

    > than it could chew when it promised WinFS for Vista. And even though that was

    > cut from Vista, Microsoft continues to work on the system for a future version

    > of Windows, he said.

    > [/quote]

    >

    > Regards, Roman

    >

    >

    >

    Hello!

    "Gnter Prossliner" <g.prossliner/gmx/at> wrote in message news:eHHf5HDIHHA.1468@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...

    >> But this newsgroup is intended for discussions of anything related to

    >> WinFS and not more. Anything related to file systems as NTFS must be

    >> placed under other newsgroups.

    >

    > This newsgroup is as dead as WinFS.

    http://www.aeroxp.org/board/index.php?showtopic=7101

    [quote]

    Awesome, I was really hoping that WinFS wasn't gone forever! To tell you

    the truth, deep down I didn't expect it to be gone forever. It is far too powerful

    and helpful for every aspect of IT for Microsoft to just ditch it. I am going to

    make a prediction about the release of WinFS. I suspect that it will be

    converted into a full file system of its own and added to Windows Vienna.

    What do all of you think?

    [/quote]

    http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/dailyarchives.jhtml?articleId=196600671

    [quote]

    At the Windows Vista business launch Thursday in New York, Microsoft CEO

    Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the Redmond, Wash., company bit off more

    than it could chew when it promised WinFS for Vista. And even though that was

    cut from Vista, Microsoft continues to work on the system for a future version

    of Windows, he said.

    [/quote]

    Regards, Roman

    Also I can't say anymore about WinFS at this point Microsoft Chairman Bill

    Gates already told to the general public in Moscow that WinFS project is back

    on track and it would be used in the whole number of Microsoft products.

    --

    Danila A. Kornev

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    "Günter Prossliner" wrote:

    > > But this newsgroup is intended for discussions of anything related to

    > > WinFS and not more. Anything related to file systems as NTFS must be

    > > placed under other newsgroups.

    >

    > This newsgroup is as dead as WinFS.

    >

    >

    >

    > GP

    >

    >

    >

    > But this newsgroup is intended for discussions of anything related to

    > WinFS and not more. Anything related to file systems as NTFS must be

    > placed under other newsgroups.

    This newsgroup is as dead as WinFS.

    GP

    December 31, 2006 5:31 AM
  • Tom Servo said:

    Yea, I was just about to post some links about this Danila Kornev person, which went around Channel 9 posting as official Microsoft person (the additional Windows icon for real Microsofties) clamoring about WinFS being alive, plus some stuff in the news where Ballmer also said that it's been reviven.

    January 1, 2007 7:11 AM
  • Pot, meet Kettle!

    January 1, 2007 7:23 AM
  • Zephiris said:

    Well, actually, "breaking compatibility as a feature" has been something that Microsoft didn't terribly mind. Not to the extent that was rumored before there were public releases, but...for instance, people say that the removal (and not just complete removal but subservice 'stubbed out version' that deliberately breaks things and won't accept replacement DLLs) of DirectPlay is 'no big deal', but...well, let's actually think about that for a second. That means no networking (at all) for any game that uses it. This includes virtually every edition of all Microsoft games, and a pretty fair chunk of third party games. Age of Empires (And AoE 2), Freelancer, Civ 3, it was deprecated, but still should've been supported for at least another release or two. The fact that many games -depend- on it to run correctly would be a horrific reason to drop support in the very first OS release after announcing deprecation, though, technically, it should've remained as long as it was feasible to support the DirectX 8 APIs in general. Though, apparently, for Vista's 64-bit support (WOW64) for 32-bit games, they apparently even removed Direct3D 8 and below, according to the documents released on MSDN.

    I get it, a lot of people just like Windows, but quite a few mostly put up with it because it offers the one "big easy" thing that most other OSes haven't suitably offered so far: gaming. But what happens when Microsoft undermines one of the big things that's Windows so popular for so long? Microsoft has long known that gaming has been a driving force behind its success.

    It doesn't help that most of "Vista's brand new features" have been done already previously, and frequently much better (at least judging after using Vista in the field for several weeks) in other OSes. Hee, another blog entry somewhere said that being able to burn DVDs was the magic of the "elite few" and that Vista makes it a possibility for the common user.

    In my personal (though experienced) opinion, Vista is at least as bad as the release of WinME was...possibly as underwhelming once you start using it as was the very first original retail release of Win95 (does anyone remember the constant large memory leaks? :D).

    Oh, PS: Even Visual Studio, their own developer tools, are largely incompatible with Vista. If you can get it on and working at all (apparently it varies), at best, you'll be looking at the actual compiler executable 'hanging' during compile frequently, and having to kill it manually.

    It's all about as fun as 'CD Protection' software that installs massive ring 0 rootkits being redistributed with completely free games. ;]

    January 1, 2007 9:34 AM
  • ... said:

    Very nice site! Good work.

    March 1, 2007 3:50 AM