For a lot of IT Pros, WinFS was going to be a core part of Vista – the opportunity to store information in a filing system built around a database and perform database-like operations on it. Microsoft did a lot of promoting of WinFS as one of the core deliverables of WinFS.
Then it got pushed back to Longhorn.
Then it got pulled out of Longhorn and made a separate deliverable.
Now it doesn’t look like we are going to see it at all. Robert Scoble’s post about this suggests that the Web killed it off. From a look at the comments he is getting, not many people are buying into that. I certainly don’t.
The posting to the WinFS blog
about this has also generated a lot of negative comments, mostly about the level of spin and how MS need to stop pre-announcing technologies that later get pulled.
The problem, as I see it, with the approach that Microsoft have taken over the various announcements for Vista is that it seems difficult to totally understand what Vista is going to deliver now. Personally, I think I would have preferred for Microsoft to have held off any solid Vista announcements until, say, this year’s Tech-Ed. Surely that would have been a better timeframe for knowing what really is going to be in the product?
As it is, there are now a lot of upset people, and I think they are justifiably upset. We don’t know the real reason for why WinFS isn’t being delivered as a core technology any more and I don’t think incorporating it into SQL Server or ADO.Net is an acceptable alternative.
Microsoft needs to do better.