Throughout the years of pre-announcements, the promised "three pillars" of the next Windows platform have been described as major improvements in data accessibility, interactive presentation and behind-the-scenes communication. The first of these has proved wobbly, but the other two continue to be key differentiators for Microsoft Corp.’s forthcoming Windows Vista.
The pillar of data access stood initially on the promise of WinFS, an ambitious reinvention of information storage and retrieval. Like the similar promise of Cairo, once touted as a component of a prospective Windows NT 5.0, WinFS is behaving more like a continually receding mirage than a vision of what’s soon to come. Actual availability of WinFS technology is no longer pegged to any specific Microsoft product or schedule."
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