Thursday, December 04, 2003

WinFS - Why its a big deal..

The following snippet from Ray Ozzie succinctly sums up why he reckongs WinFS is a big deal. These things take time, but WinFS will open up some really fascinating changes that we can expect in the next 5 years (or so). The 'network-effect' of WinFS, assuming we end up ubiquitously storing primary schemas types about at least our identities and profiles, means we will be able to do some pretty amazing things with personal communication and collaboration. Searching my digital assets, (i.e music, photos, documents) against standard schemas that make cross-referencing, searching and inferencing of my content, and content that i am interested in, extremely easy. IMHO, this makes WinFS the most significant part of Longhorn.

"No - the "big deal" about WinFS IMHO isn't Search. Like Web Services - it's about the fact that it's an attempt to get a higher level of interoperability between programs through agreement on schemas. Hopefully, toward the goal of bootstrapping network effects, and unintended/innovative consequences, on the client. WinFS defines an extensible object model and persistence mechanism, as well a rich and extensible "relationship" mechanism that can be used to intertwingle objects with that are somehow related to one another. Some kinds of stock relationships are obvious: common Author, common Artist, common Location, common Priority, etc. Some may be more subtle or domain-specific: common Project, common Client, common Contributors, or even manual and thus not-easily-described ties." More....