Is Office 12 going to be a Vista-only release though? It makes sense to have Office 12 be Vista-compliant when running on Vista, but if they are going to release Office 12 for XP too, it should follow the XP user interface guidelines.
Office 12 looks incredibly slick and is definitely going to appeal to users of previous editions of Office and other similiar office productivity applications. I still can't help but feel like it is going to scare new users though and hope Microsoft does
work between now and RTM to simplify the interface for new users.
The thing I liked about what Mr. Gates said is that he's not satisfied with how software is today. Many of his criticisms about what is wrong with software are right on. There is so much room for improvement.
Also, for being one of the world's wealthiest and powerful people, he seems amazingly down-to-earth.
It was great to see WinFS in action. Thanks for the video, C9!
IMHO, calling it a "file system" is really doing it a disservice even if ultimately becoming Windows' next file system is its most important near-term future goal.
Yes, I know its current incarnation is as a layer on top of NTFS, but in the future, that may not be the case. From the comments they made about WinFS in the video, they chose NTFS because it was easier to use a robust, mature file system like NTFS to build
the "file system" bits of WinFS than to build a new one from scratch.
Likewise, SQL Server 2005 may not be the database engine that drives WinFS in the future; one of Hans Reiser's beefs about WinFS is that it uses a relational model, which he feels isn't appropriate for a filesystem. Personally, I think Reiser's right but for
a different reason than he thinks. I'm less concerned about the suitability of the relational model for modeling filesystem data and more concerned about the "impedance mismatch" of object-oriented and relational database models, something that has been a
thorn in the side of O/R and OODB models for a very long time. MS has a lot of very bright people in their employ; maybe they'll figure out something.
Anyway, as with NTFS, MS is using SQL Server 2005 because it was easier to use a robust, mature database like SQL Server than to build a new object-relational or object-oriented database from scratch. The flip side is that the next generations of WinFS will
have to support legacy artifacts of having its first generation be an NTFS-based, SQL Server-based file system, but I guess they figured they'd rather cross that bridge when they get to it than to release something in the early-mid 2010's.
It'll be interesting to see what the open source guys come up with after WinFS comes out, though I wonder if they will be as hamstrung by their UNIX legacy as Microsoft is by their NT/SQL Server legacies. Reiser's comments about his file system's UNIX dependencies
suggests that it will be hampered by that legacy... but not forever. What MS is trying to do with WinFS could be bigger and more powerful than UNIX, NT, and SQL Server.
Let's not forget Google, who's coming at this from their own angle (the power of search; the Internet as the filesystem).