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Author Topic: WinFS - well and truly dead.  (Read 2093 times)

JavaJones

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WinFS - well and truly dead.
« on: July 06, 2006, 10:35:13 PM »
I was surprised not to see mention of this here previously. It looks like WinFS, which had been moved from a core Longhorn component to a post-release Vista upgrade some time ago, has now been essentially cancelled. Or at least the part that matters to an end user like me.

Quote
... some of the technology, especially the end user value points, are not ready...

http://blogs.msdn.com/winfs/

I want my end user value points! :D

So does anyone else see this as a big opportunity for some other OS to step in and actually make this work? I would be completely unsurprised if Apple actually did this and A: it might make me finally move over to a Mac, B: it would be a brilliant lock-in technique to counter the new Bootcamp "buy a Mac and run Windows" trend that seems to be happening (although since Apple makes tidy profit on its hardware I doubt they're bothered). If the files were portable but the meta data and organizational structure wasn't, sure you *could* go back to a regular PC, but you'd be losing sooo much valuable info and categorization. Who would want to?

But then there's the question of whether this was ever really that great a thing anyway. It seems like more and more apps and online ventures are taking to keywords and tags. Perhaps at some point all apps that needed such organizational structures will implement them natively rather than at the OS level? Perhaps. But doesn't that seem like a waste of lots of programmer's time? And isn't the lack of consistency in implementation going to be annoying?

And what about where apps like Locate, X1, etc. fit into this? Do such rapid searching systems make this "folderless file system" unnecessary? Again, perhaps. But they don't solve hte meta data problem. A big part of what I wanted to be able to do was embed - either manually or, preferably, automatically - data into most every file I saved specifying, for example, the URL it was downloaded from and notes about why I downloaded it. Now an app like Locate could add this functionality but will it be as seamless and consistent as it could have been with WinFS? I guess we'll never know, or at least not for a while yet.

*sigh*

So Vista is now almost completely uninteresting to me. :P

- Oshyan

db90h

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Why Microst is failing
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2006, 11:04:06 PM »
As I was surfing through this, I ended up on a page showcasing some Microsoft employees. It then occurred to me why Microsft is faltering on all their new projects: It's a people problem.

Consider, all the geeks in the world hate Microsoft. Nobody wants to go to work for Microsoft. Geeks do want to go to work for Google, and they are in great numbers (that may change someday). For Microsoft, the attraction is not there though.

The thought of going to work for a corporation as rigid as Microsoft is like thinking of spending an eternity in hell. And I imagine most geek's opinions are the same.

The people they do attract are of foreign descent, eager and grateful to have a job. But even this pool is drying up for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that opportunity is everywhere no matter where you are in the world.

Software engineering is one of those disciplines that you just can't throw more people or money at. It takes a certain combination of talent, freedom, and motivation. Talent is not drawn to Microsoft. Freedom is inherently gone in any such corporate environment (despite what the PR people may say), and its hard to be motivated when working on a project that has a release date of 2010, and you are only 1 in 1000 developers working on it.

Microsoft is lost and unless they really re-invent themselves, I can't see them ever regaining their foot-hold. The best thing they can do, and this is what they've been doing, is acquiring small start-ups that have done something innovative. In other words, 'feeding' on the talent that is out there.

JavaJones

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Re: WinFS - well and truly dead.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2006, 11:40:42 PM »
Perhaps, yes. But I can see them simply taking thier vastly market-leading position in many areas (OS and Office in particular) and simply riding it for quite a looong while. It would take some gargantuan blunders to really make that fail in fact.

They already have the majority of the world locked into using their OS. Even if the market share of OSX increased 5% per year starting this year (which would be a stupendously rapid growth increase - previous growth rates are less than 1%/yr) it would still take 10 years just for it to gain a majority. Sheer legacy alone will keep Windows as a majority for a long time and Apple couldn't produce systems fast enough to turn the tide even if they wanted to. There is no other genuine alternative and probably won't be for a long time, if for no other reason than that the Linux community doesn't seem to want it badly enough.

So yes MS may have lost their edge (that probably happened 5 or more years ago actually - Win2k was their last real grand slam IMO, XP just built on its successes), but I'm not sure what that really means for the average user. Probably not much for a while yet. The only way we'll see any real change is if someone makes something radically better *that is also backward compatible in most every way*.

- Oshyan