Microsoft has released a test beta of its new WinFS Windows relational file system.
The beta is available to all MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers, and provides support to Windows XP.
The company said WinFS will offer end users and developers features such as the unified Item Data Model. This is a feature which enables the release of individual data items from a range of applications (such as contacts, calendar events and RSS feeds) for organising, managing, sharing and synchronising in other contexts.
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WinFS will also offer new organisational constructs to help users extend their data with additional properties, and allow applications to auto-organise their data on their behalf.
In addition, WinFS users will be able to build powerful queries that exploit relationships – queries such as “show me all mail from those people I am meeting with this week”.