Newsweek article on Tiger v. Longhorn

April 24, 2005
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This week is expected to be the OS X (Tiger) vs. Longhorn week.   With Steve Jobs taking the covers off the newest incarnation of OS X, he’ll be trying to besmirch Longhorn at every turn.  This newsweek article is probably only the first of many on the subject.

I am still impressed that the Microsoft spin machine hasn’t been able to get WinFS out of the press’s minds.  They still beat up on them for dropping WinFS.  I am hoping that Microsoft sees fit to include WinFS in a future version.  My opinion is that they can’t ship WinFS until SQL Server (the underlying DB engine that had powered WinFS) has row-level security.  Building something akin to NT File Permissions over SQL Server is just too much overhead.

Even though I’d love to poke Microsoft about how Tiger will have something akin to WinFS, it doesn’t really.  Tiger’s new feature is to allow metadata on files to help out search.  This is not WinFS.  While WinFS was to have supported additional metadata, it went a lot further than that.  It was going to be an object-based file system with full support for relationships between objects in the file system.  That’s a lot bigger than just metadata support.

My only hope is that the continued bad press about lack of WinFS will push Microsoft to accellerate WinFS to earlier than the rumored 2010.  I have heard whispers that the WinFS team is still working on the product, but when it will see the public eye is anybody’s guess.