Microsoft has announced that the latest Windows storage subsystem codenamed WinFS will not be part of the Longhorn operating system, as had been previously planned.
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Greg Sullivan, a lead product manager at Microsoft, said WinFS will follow the Longhorn "client" operating system release but Microsoft does not know when it will be complete.
WinFS, which provides advanced data organisation and management capabilities, will be in beta testing when the Longhorn client is released, the company said.
The target date for broad availability of the Longhorn client operating systems is 2006.
The expected release date for the Longhorn server operating system continues to be 2007, but Microsoft provided no information on whether the WinFS storage subsystem will be ready by that time.
Microsoft laid out key details of its Longhorn vision during its Professional Developers Conference last October in Los Angeles.
WinFS was one of three critical elements that company officials said would be part of the Longhorn release. The other two were the graphics subsystem, codenamed Avalon, and communication technologies for building advanced web services, codenamed Indigo.
The Avalon and Indigo subsystems will be made available for Windows XP and Windows Server in 2006. Avalon and Indigo are part of the new WinFX developer technologies due with Longhorn.
At its Los Angeles conference in October, Microsoft had said that a beta version of Longhorn would be available in the second half of 2004. The beta release was subsequently pushed to the first half of 2005.
WinFS is being developed independently of the client and server operating systems, Sullivan said, adding that the beta remains on target for the first half of next year.
Carol Sliwa writes for Computerworld