Today Quentin Clark announced an important change of direction statement regarding WinFS. Judging from initial comments to Quentin’s post, Microsoft should continue to educate its development community on the implications and opportunities created by this decision.
Update 6/25/2006: Just last September, CRN recorded the following statement from Bill Gates concerning WinFS: “WinFS is the idea of taking the file system and the database and the directory and the mail store and bringing those together. In this wave we still have a directory store, we have an Exchange mail store, we have a database store, we have a file server, so that dream of unifying those things, you know, people can see the technology we’re building for that. It’s really the next round of SQL on the server where you could get that deep unification.” The emphasis on the last remark is mine (reference Quentin’s references to “Katmai”).
Update 6/30/2006: While I was away at a family reunion, Quentin provided an update to his first post. Judging by comments left on both WinFS Team Blog posts as well as elsewhere online, it’s clear that the desire for a relational file system is still very much alive.