Hello everyone and welcome to the WinFS team blog! My name is Vijay Bangaru and I’m a Program Manager on the WinFS product team.  Today we are very excited to announce the release of WinFS Beta 1. As you probably know “WinFS” is the codename for the new relational file system for Windows that provides a data platform for desktop developers.


Our Beta 1 release is a preview of WinFS, Microsoft’s platform that allows developers and users to unify, organize, and explore data in ways they couldn’t before. WinFS is a critical piece of Microsoft’s integrated data initiative. (Integrated data initiative is a term used to refer to a group of technologies whose goal is to provide better integration for data, since much of user data is locked in individual application silos).


This release contains the core of the capabilities we’ll have at RTM. The WinFS data model allows the definition of rich data concepts like items and relationships. It also includes the object APIs that help developers program with this new data model, along with a set of core schemas that can be used to bootstrap development and to share data with other applications. WinFS Beta 1 provides the infrastructure for extending these schemas and building synchronization adaptors to get data in and out of WinFS. Also included is the beginning of the Windows Explorer support to allow WinFS items to appear. 


Our Beta 1 runs on XPSP2.  We are planning on releasing regular Betas and CTP releases. WinFS will be in Beta as Windows Vista ships. When WinFS RTMs, we will be available for download much like the .NET Framework is today.


Obviously, the team is thrilled with the release. We wanted to get these bits out so that we can get good feedback and bake it into the product. So we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback either here at the blog, via comments, or at our newsgroup. We’ll be posting frequently to this site, so subscribe or come back and visit us often.


Author: Vijay Bangaru

Comments (16)

  1. shaunbed says:

    Will there be any way to get WinFS betas or CTPs outside of MSDN? I am just now upgrading to XP but I still can’t afford MSDN as I am a little strapped for cash atm.

    Shaun Bedingfield



    The Art of Software Development Made Flesh

  2. Vijay Bangaru says:

    You need to be a MSDN subscriber or a PDC attendee to get the Beta.

  3. Linux User says:

    Is performance going to improve over NTFS? I’ve done several comparisons between NTFS and filesystems available on Linux (identical hardware, usually dual-booting).

    NTFS was at least 30% slower than even EXT2 and 3, not to mention a "real" filesystem like XFS.

  4. Brandon Bloom says:

    "Is performance going to improve over NTFS?" I can answer that:

    Not likely, as WinFS is not a new file system, it is a layer over NTFS.

    My inital feedback is this: please please please rename the technology, it is an increadably missleading name.

  5. Doug Hughes says:

    How will this new file system be "available for download much like the .NET Framework"? Is this actually a file system or is it tool which sits ontop of NTFS and allows storage of relational data?

    Or will WinFS convert a specified partition from NTFS to WinFS? (I seem to recall that you can convert FAT to NTFS…)

  6. ShaunIsAnIdiot says:

    why do you post your email address? besides the amount of spam you will now receive what are you looking for?

  7. HTK says:

    Are you a noob trying to be hackz0r? winfx is not going to outdate ntfs, it is built ON TOP of ntfs.

    Damn Linux zealots.

  8. Sethu says:

    The simple answer is it depends on the scenario like anything related to performance does. NTFS was optimized for a few scenarios like insert throughput and does great at creating and manipulating multiple file streams while not so good at many directory listing scenarios. WinFS does better than NTFS on a few scenarios, lags NTFS on others and enables a lot many scenarios that were not even possible with NTFS. We will provide a more detailed response on performance of the product as it stands now and which areas we plan to optimize further in the next few days. Please check back.

  9. anonymous says:

    What encryption/crypto capabilities does WinFS support. Are these in addition to Windows NTFS, or was this mostly geared towards information management/search.

  10. Sean McPoland says:

    Oh, dear…

    I was hoping for a new file system, not a layer in between. Hasn’t the hierarchical system gotten a little old in the hat?

    No wonder Vista will be shipping without it – it doesn’t need it…

    Not everyone wants meta data search and storage capabilities…some of us have a life outside computers, hi end audio, walking down the beach etc…which are a much more acceptable use of time – rather then "which way can I sort my data now"?



  11. Sean McPoland says:

    "What encryption/crypto capabilities does WinFS support"

    I doubt any – as it is not a file system as previously stated – it doesn’t need to – the file system (which is still NTFS) is the correct place for en/crypto capabilities.

    But as a XML data application layer between Office 12 processes it might use "in memory" en/crypto to stop other processes from snooping the live data but I haven’t been able to verify this as yet.



  12. Mabsterama says:

    As many readers will be aware, Microsoft recently released beta 1 of WinFS, a relational storage system…

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