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New Microsoft File System Is Top-Drawer

WinFS offers a large set of information for managing and sharing data across WinFS-enabled apps, yet the expanded database capabilities are invisible to users and backward-compatible with NTFS. Of course, the idea of using a database to manage the chaos of modern file systems isn't new; database companies have been preaching that sermon for decades. Still, anyone who has wrestled the data-management python knows that our existing file systems of extensions and minimal file attributes can't possibly work long term (see "ILM Gets a Life" ).

WinFS is clearly a step in the right direction, and now we have a responsibility--to hammer the beta as hard as possible to determine the security and reliability of a database-driven file system. We need stronger and more versatile file systems--from Microsoft or not.