WinFS delay discussion

A while back I read the article from Frans Bouma about the WinFS delay.Not until today I read on Roland Boon‘s website that Robert Scoble responded to his article. I cannot just sit here and see this Microsoft evangelist twist the truth.


For example, he’s telling Hotmail can’t deliver the 1GB Google is giving out to people (for free!) because Hotmail already has an installed base of millions of users. That’s why Hotmail only is handing out 250MB to everyone. Well, first, I still only have 2MB because I’m European. I know there’s a workaround, but why can’t we just get the 250MB as well? Second, why do I have to sign in every 30 days or loose my account? And is Microsoft counting all these deleted accounts as well? And, does every GMail owner have the full 1GB filled up? And is every Hotmail user? I think not! I only have a few MB’s of data on my GMail account. And it’s not because of the 1GB I think GMail is better, but because of the supreme functionality GMail offers!
Also, Robert is talking about the fact that Hotmail is adding more customers per (undefined) period then GMail. Or, he’s hearing this in the hallways, to quote him. He’s probably hearing this in Microsoft hallways alone. But, GMail isn’t officially released yet, all users are on invitation only. You can’t just surf to gmail.com and subscribe. Most people I know don’t know about Gmail because they never heard of it, or because they didn’t get an invite yet.


Robert is also saying they can’t just “hack out code” and putting it on the internet, like the open source people can afford to do. But what are all those releases of Visual Studio.NET 2005 we’re testing for Microsoft, right now? Must I list all products that aren’t even beta or rc’s?


Finally, he’s referring to bad pr that Microsoft can’t have, when something goes wrong in WinFS if one file can’t be found on a users system. If that happens, currently the product goes back into development, and testing is done again and again. But how come then, that still a lot of products I use contain so much bugs, just so much, that Microsoft is aware of but just completely ignore? Or do have patches for, but are just plain unsupported by Microsoft. And I can’t even bring to my customers and install there, but they have to personally call Microsoft for the download link and install it themselves?


Really, don’t get my wrong, I love using Microsoft products. But Microsoft has to be realistic and give us good reason why they don’t bring WinFS to Longhorn. Why everything is being delayed again and again. While they’re already advertising all those new products for years now, with a lot of early adaptors and other people eager to use those products.


I think in the end, it is all about bad PR. But they just can’t handle all the bad PR. Although this company owns a large piece of the world with their software on so many computers, I think a large part of it ties together with marketing. And when the marketing can’t win the fight against bad PR, the company is doomed.

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6 Responses

  1. Hellsbellboy says:

    LOL why does MS owe you a explaination for something that isn’t even out yet? Longhorn’s not out till 2006 at the earliest.. and MS already said WinFS was going to be late.. and now it’s going to be later why do they owe you a explaination? It’s not like you went out and bought Longhorn installed it and found out it’s not there, they are telling you 1 1/2 before the release that it’s not going to be there.

  2. The reason that there are such a lot of hotmail accounts is because of the popularity of MSN Messenger. People that want to chat create a hotmail account. Most people just don’t know that they can make a MS passport account to use that for MSN messenger.

  3. b.t.w.. we don’t need WinFS at all. That is just ‘good’ PR!

  4. @Hellsbellboy; Maybe I said it wrong. They don’t need to give me an explanation, but when someone like Scoble does, it should be better then what he comes up with.

    If they want to respond, do it good. Not like the way he/they did now. I’m talking about ‘they’ as he’s Microsoft. And I know he has the "not my employers thoughts" disclaimer, but he’s referring to other Microsoft employees, departments, etc in his post. And about what he hears in the hallways. I think this can be better.

    In Frans Bouma’s comments Alex James is also responding. He has some quite good thoughts on the subject. Probably Google was ahead of them with desktop search, and the devs at Microsoft want WinFS to be perfect, with all the available toppings on it. But they can’t deliver on time, and as Alex says : "started to focus on immediate threats like Google."

    @Exyll; I dunnow what WinFS exactly is. If ObjectSpaces heavily relies on WinFS, as Microsoft has claimed, I want to know what WinFS is more. Also, it’s probably the first solution we can use to search files that isn’t based on indexed files, like every other solution currently provides.

  5. That is because WinFS does the indexing then… And as we all know… adding alot of indexes makes mutations slow. So this probably means that you can index directories in a different way just like an ordinary datebase to keep stuff running at an acceptable rate.

    It is nice that you can put plug-ins to a filesystem. But the power lies in the plug-ins that get developed..

    Well Objectspaces had the suffers from the same strategy as WinFS. Maybe this is just nice PR candy to get us on the .NET wagon. Because these are things developers were waiting for and now we have to wait even longer…

    The result is that we still have to do the good old thing that we probably could have even done faster in a certain other very competitive programming environment 🙂

  6. Gerke Geurts says:

    It is too easy to complain about Microsoft showing interesting new technology and then scrapping (parts of) it when it is time to deliver something to keep there customers (especially the ones with enterprise agreements) happy enough.

    Microsoft’s traditional stance has been to not say much about future plans. That is prudent from vendor perspective but makes life harder/unsatisfactory for people who are trying to plan further into the future (think IT departments and outsourcing parties for example). Microsoft have changed the level of openness in their aproach of Longhorn and has always made clear that what you see now is not a firm promise for the future. The direction is fairly clear but the exact timing of deliverables/features always comes with an inevitable uncertainty.

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