Windows XP May Gain Longhorn Features

Support for the WinFS file storage system may be added to the existing OS.


Windows XP may be updated to support a new file system technology that Microsoft is working on for the next version of Windows.


Called WinFS, the technology promises to make it easier for users to find data stored on their computer. WinFS was originally slated to ship as part of the next Windows release, code-named Longhorn. Microsoft, however, last August pulled WinFS from Longhorn to be able to make a 2006 ship date for operating system’s release.


Microsoft now plans to have a beta test version of WinFS available when Longhorn ships, probably late next year, and add it as an update to the operating system later. While it develops the technology, Microsoft is also evaluating whether to make the storage system available on Windows XP, a company spokesperson says in a statement sent via e-mail.


WinFS is built on top of the current NTFS file system in Windows, and uses relational engine technology from Microsoft’s forthcoming SQL Server 2005 database as well as XML. XML metadata tags should make it easier to find, for example, documents and e-mail message on a computer, Microsoft has said.


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