Microsoft has scrapped plans for a WinFS Beta 2. Instead, elements of WinFS are being rolled into other products.
Going back to the early days in the development of what is now known as Windows Vista, there has been the concept of a new file system known as WinFS, which was to be an integral element in the new operating system. Last year, with great fanfare and a lot of bad press reaction, Microsoft "dropped" the WinFS filing system from what was Windows Longhorn at the time.
The notion of the new file system being an integral part of the new platform was replaced by a new plan: develop the new Windows independently, and then ship WinFS as a standalone product in conjunction with the release of Windows Vista. Since WinFS was initially referred to as one of the "pillars" of Longhorn/Vista, once it was pulled out there naturally had to be a bit of damage control on Microsoft's part to convince the public that this "pillar" was not, in fact, that much of a "pillar" after all.
It has taken some time, but they have succeeded in this, to some extent, and we haven't heard much about the "loss of WinFS" recently. Meanwhile, the WinFS Team has been toiling away at what was to be the separate delivery of the new technology. Now comes word that this will not happen after all. WinFS is, for all intents and purposes, dead.
News source: Pro Networks