Microsoft on Monday surprised MSDN subscribers with an unexpected download: WinFS Beta 1. The company also clarified its plans for the future relational file system technology, which has been the subject of much confusion since the feature was crossed off the list of additions to Windows Vista.
WinFS takes a SQL engine and marries it with NTFS, creating a "file system and relational database in one consistent storage engine," Quentin Clark, Director of Program Management for WinFS, explained to BetaNews. The technology stores metadata for all files on a system to facilitate organization and searching, as well as structured data such as contacts, calendars and more.
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