The benefits of WinFS
Given all of the negative talk about the delay to WinFS I just wanted to say that I have thought since I first glimpsed it that Microsoft are really onto something with WinFS, I have discussed it before but its timely to give my top five reasons again:
1. It’s a personal aggregation of information
2. It can replicate information, and I assume persist/cache information from enterprise and personal services
3. It’s rich in metadata, UI experience and likely to be fast, (because when it finally ships HW will be VERY fast).
4. Services will be around that it can aggregate, persist/cache content from, RSS being a current example of many to come
5. It’s integration with Office is likely to be outstanding, for three reasons, Outlook, Office XML support and Microsoft’s desperation to create a compelling value proposition to get people to upgrade from XP and Office 2003.
Jon Udell also likes the concept, and writes about it in his blog, the key extract follows:
I was offline writing this column, at the tail end of vacation, so I missed the big news about Microsoft’s delaying WinFS in order to make a 2006 date for Longhorn. It’s tempting to observe that my current fascination with del.icio.us (a lightweight, collaborative, web-native metadata system) helps prove that WinFS (a heavyweight, single-user, desktop-bound metadata system) really is the over-engineered solution-in-search-of-a-problem that many people now claim it to be. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that. If you haven’t seen my extended interview with Quentin Clark, the director of program management for WinFS, you may find it a useful read now. Granted, I found that URL by way of this tag. But there’s no question in my mind that a smart local datastore has to be part of the equation. Or that the “object/relational/XML trinity” envisioned by