Windows 8 to feature History Vault, Time Machine competitor

Among the many new features that have been slowly surfacing over the past few days, 'History Vault' can now be added to the list. History Vault appears to be much like Apple's Time Machine in that it will replicate your information automatically to an external location for backup.

The image comes courtesy of CNbeta.com and clearly shows the new feature. The backup function will work like many others that are currently on the market, meaning that they will give you ability to restore files on an individual basis from a certain date and time. You can currently obtain this feature in Windows 7 but the use of third party software is required for complete automation.

It was only yesterday that we reported that Windows 8 was now on Microsoft Connect and because of this, we expect more information to surface at a rapid rate as more individuals get their hands on early renditions of the upcoming OS. Windows 8 is expected to enter beta, possibly as soon as this fall, with OEM availability in late 2012 and possible retail availability in January 2013.

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This looks like a death knell to software that made use of VSC but with an easy to use interface such as Rollback-Rx or EazFix.

What is with all the Apple trolls on here geez.

MS already had this before Apple in server versions and it already exists in Vista/7 as "Shadow Copies".. however the implementation is not too user-friendly.

This actually seems really interesting and I'm sure the final implementation will be excellent.

ShadowCopy/Previous Versions already have this and are more capable than Time Machine, technically. But that doesn't matter. What's important is -

- how well is this integrated with other apps? i.e. will other apps have a datastore that is HistoryVault aware and can access it directly or is this just file based

- how easy is it to use? The verbose unc names in the screenshot are already enough to turn off 90% of the userbase who will never bother configuring it

- is it simple and reliable? VSS is pretty complex and has tons of issues - Time Machine is basically a hacked up file system using symbolic links which you can still navigate without mounting it.

Has everyone gone insane or just holding on to ignorance?

Vista has a technology called Previous Versions. Which does EVERYTHING Time Machine does, and was around over six months before Apple mangled together Time Machine and released it.

With Windows, it not only displays a timeline of file/folder version of all your backups, but it also does this with files and folders that haven't been backed up. (NTFS copy on write does this eveerytime you save a file.)

This is NOT new... Maybe the marketing, or the shove it in your face interface is new; as it appears people still don't realize that Vista had this long before Time Machine existed. (The technology goes way back to any FS technology with copy on write, and was also available on Windows 2003 server, Vista added it to the desktop version of Windows and also included file backup timeline versioning. (Backup timeline versioning is only thing Time Machine can even do.)


How about wrtting an article about Windows Vista/Win7 Previous Versions, so people might realize they have this feature and stop thinking the functionality offered by Time Machine is something Windows lacks?

(Apple modeled Time Machine off of Windows Vista, but couldn't do the non-backup on hard drive timeline versioning as HPFS does not support many of the features that are needed for this, features that have been a part of NTFS since before OS X existed.


I am literally sitting here wanting to smack my head on the desk. What next, you going to showcase a new features of Windows 8 and tell everyone it now will have color and have an GUI too?

Go look up previous versions...

Or better yet, right click on any file or folder ANYWHERE, and select 'Restore Previous Versions'...
----You will see a timeline of all the folder and file versions, you can view them, open them, drag and drop them anywhere or even do an automated restore.
----In the timeline note, that versions that are on your backups will say 'Backup' which is equivalent to Time Machine. Then note you have versions NOT on your Backup, as they are kept via NTFS's copy on write, and are available on your hard drive. (Which Time Machine and OS X cannot even do.)

With Windows you don't even have to launch an application, as it is available anywhere you can click on a file or a folder, this means Windows Explorer or any Open/Save or other Dialog box of any application. It just works, and is transparent, and easy to access.

With Windows, you don't have to carry a backup to have access to saved file versions, and you don't have to waste performanance or time with ongoing backups, like Time Machine requires.

***Smacking my head on the desk now...

I just talked with a contact on the Windows 8 team...

History Vault is just a new name for 'Previous Versions'...

They got tired of people not realizing that all of this was automatic and just available to users, so they decided to play like Apple and give it a name and a special place in the Control Panel so that users can see that their backups and their local drive is retaining file versions in a time line.

This is really sad that they have to dedicate development and marketing to a feature that already exists and works transparently to the user on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

***Smacking my head on the desk harder...

roadwarrior said,
OK, I just tried it on a folder that I use for downloading and sorting files on a daily basis. It came up with a list of 4 (just 4??) previous versions of the folder (one earlier today, one earlier in the week, and two from last week). No way of knowing WHAT was in any of those backups either. And restoring any of them would be an all or nothing proposition, since they would overwrite what was already there. How exactly is that something that "just works, and is transparent, and easy to access"? If you don't think that this is something that needs improvement, then you have never used anything that works better.

If you want to see inside one, click on it and click Open.

If you think this is hard, give your computer away now.

The reason you are only seeing 4, is because it takes HD space for both the local and backup versions. And I am going to bet you are not using Windows Backup, so you don't have any of the backup versions.

Since Windows does not want to 'rob' users of their local hard drive space, when hard drive space meets a threshold, it has to start dumping older versions of files and folders. Which is why you should setup Windows Backup, so that the older versions are on your backup and not thrown away.

thenetavenger said,
Has everyone gone insane or just holding on to ignorance?

Vista has a technology called Previous Versions. Which does EVERYTHING Time Machine does, and was around over six months before Apple mangled together Time Machine and released it.

Previous Versions was introduced in Windows Server 2003 and was kinda in XP, the underlying technology called volume shadow services was. Microsoft have an issue with creating really good technology and creating **** poor end user implementations.

Zerosignull said,

Previous Versions was introduced in Windows Server 2003 and was kinda in XP, the underlying technology called volume shadow services was. Microsoft have an issue with creating really good technology and creating **** poor end user implementations.

I agree that Microsoft should have marketed the feature better, especially when Time Machine came out, as they could have went, "Wow, a feature Windows already has and does better."

Instead, little has ever been said about this technology in Windows, and thus we get articles like this one with tons of comments from users that have no clue this is something they already have.

It is good to see in Windows 8, they are giving it a name, but from the interface in the screen shot, there is NO additional features or functionality, so it is adding a better name to the feature and shoving it in the face of users so they understand it is there to use.

The UI to access the timeline of Previous Versions is rather good if anyone would just right click on a file or folder and open it.

It has a good timeline view of all the versions on the local drives and backups and lets the user open the folders and view them at any time, and manipulate the 'time based view' like any other folder or file.

The trick is getting users to realize it is there, and be more like Apple with a cool name and some marketing buzz.


Microsoft's own internal divisions often don't realize what the others are doing at the lower levels, so the marketing and sales people are often 'wowed' by things in Windows, when they should have been the ones promoting the idea years ago.

If you watch any of the Channel 9 interviews with some of the newer Microsoft minds like Mark R. and other technology people they are amazed that the marketing and sales and management of Microsoft doesn't get or know about all the technology they have created. They even have 'schools' trying to get the upper level people to learn more about the products, and this even occurs in the development layers of Windows as well. Which is scary when there are people working on code that is already in NT, and they never bother to find out.

This whole cross information things is getting better at Microsoft, but there were a few years it was a freak show, especially with the way Vista and somewhat how Windows 7 was marketed.

For example Microsoft should be running commercials with stuff like:
• See what Windows 7 can do with your GPU, and have games running side by side, or showing features of the WDDM that is impossible on OS X and Linux.
• Hear Windows 7 and demonstrate the audio technologies of creating the room environment or even have music professionals talk about the low latency and low resampling distortion levels in Windows 7 that are problems in OS X and professional music production.

And Previous Versions, and on and on and on... Sadly none of this is played to the consumers, ever, and 99% of even the Windows technology experts out there don't realize that there are some really brilliant features and technology in Windows that does set it ahead of everyone else.

roadwarrior said,
Nevermind, you seem to enjoy your ranting, so I'll ignore you.

Ya, that is why you erased your embarassing post because you didn't click on anything and click the Open button.

I am leaving your original post in my response, so people know I am not on a Rant, I am just dumbfounded at the lack of information people have, and when presented with it, they don't even try it out, and instead complain that it is hard cause they have to actually click on something to open it.

Really?

No way of knowing WHAT was in any of those backups either. And restoring any of them would be an all or nothing proposition, since they would overwrite what was already there.

Lol what? You know you can click on the folder to open it and see whats inside the folder...and then you can open the file to see what changes were made.

And you can copy it to another folder using wait for it...copy and paste.

I'm loving all the people saying its a copy, and purely because of the title of this article. Do your research please

I'm not really sure competitor is the best word as they don't compete directly on the same OS... i duno though...

neufuse said,
I'm not really sure competitor is the best word as they don't compete directly on the same OS... i duno though...

Agreed.

It seems that many don't understand the difference between Time Machine and Shadow Copy. Time Machine is more akin to a version control system in the way that it makes incremental backups every hour. Shadow Copy only makes a copy once a day or every restore point--and only to a local disk. Key differences which I'm not sure if History Vault is addressing.

giga said,
It seems that many don't understand the difference between Time Machine and Shadow Copy. Time Machine is more akin to a version control system in the way that it makes incremental backups every hour. Shadow Copy only makes a copy once a day or every restore point--and only to a local disk. Key differences which I'm not sure if History Vault is addressing.

I think VSS can work over servers but not available in consumer versions.

dhan said,

I think VSS can work over servers but not available in consumer versions.

True, forgot about network disks. The screenshot confirms that they're finally adding external disks though which is very welcome. On the flip side, Time Machine couldn't back up to your primary disk until Lion.

Edited by giga, Mar 30 2011, 3:37pm :

giga said,
It seems that many don't understand the difference between Time Machine and Shadow Copy. Time Machine is more akin to a version control system in the way that it makes incremental backups every hour. Shadow Copy only makes a copy once a day or every restore point--and only to a local disk. Key differences which I'm not sure if History Vault is addressing.

No...

It happens at File Saves as well, because it uses NTFS's copy on write.

It also includes your backups, as the 'previous versions' timeline will show all your file version on your backup locations, JUST LIKE TIME MACHINE does.

The feature also keeps 'versions' on the backups, just like Time Machine.


Seriously, has no one ever right clicked on a file or folder in Windows Vista or Windows 7 and selected 'Restore Previous Versions'?

Do it, you will see it is Time Machine on steroids with the ability to open the files or folders at various times and saves both on your local drive and on your backups.

Wow, I can't believe this feature is so foreign to people, with Vista I was like, well not a lot of people are using it, but Windows 7, how can people not notice this?

thenetavenger said,

No...

It happens at File Saves as well, because it uses NTFS's copy on write.

It also includes your backups, as the 'previous versions' timeline will show all your file version on your backup locations, JUST LIKE TIME MACHINE does.

The feature also keeps 'versions' on the backups, just like Time Machine.


Seriously, has no one ever right clicked on a file or folder in Windows Vista or Windows 7 and selected 'Restore Previous Versions'?

Do it, you will see it is Time Machine on steroids with the ability to open the files or folders at various times and saves both on your local drive and on your backups.

Wow, I can't believe this feature is so foreign to people, with Vista I was like, well not a lot of people are using it, but Windows 7, how can people not notice this?


I just tried it with a word and text document and it did not make a "version" after saving with different edits. This is on Windows 7 Ultimate so I'm not sure where you are sourcing your information. Microsoft says the same thing: http://windows.microsoft.com/e...-frequently-asked-questions

"Previous versions are automatically saved as part of a restore point. If system protection is turned on, Windows automatically creates previous versions of files and folders that have been modified since the last restore point was made. Typically, restore points are made once a day. If your disk is partitioned or if you have more than one hard disk on your computer, you need to turn on system protection for the other partitions or disks. Previous versions are also created by Windows Backup when you back up your files.

Note: If you modify a file several times in one day, only the version that was current when the restore point or backup was made is saved as a previous version."

Edited by giga, Mar 30 2011, 6:19pm : Grammar.

Uplift said,
How is it a competitor when no competing takes place?

It's a joke that something like this is only coming to windows now.

It was a feature in Windows well before it was in OSX. They just never advertised it, or made it easy to use.

Uplift said,
How is it a competitor when no competing takes place?

It's a joke that something like this is only coming to windows now.

Because, if you know anything, then you'd know that Windows Vista has already had this but it's not exactly user friendly. Microsoft calls it 'Shadow Copies'.

seriously, how is this any news we had this since 2006? Time machine came out in 2007 so how is this Windows competing against OSX when they're the ones competing. The tittle is misleading. Vista had shadow copy for documents well before OSX did.

trashoner said,
Vista had shadow copy for documents well before OSX did.

In fact, XP has VSC, too. But it was only enabled by default on Server 2003 editions, I believe.

trashoner said,
seriously, how is this any news we had this since 2006? Time machine came out in 2007 so how is this Windows competing against OSX when they're the ones competing. The tittle is misleading. Vista had shadow copy for documents well before OSX did.

Don't compare shadow copy with Time machine. Use time machine or google it to find out why it's no where near to shadow copy and this feature won't be no where near to time machine either because it's a typical Windows feature

Asesh said,

Don't compare shadow copy with Time machine. Use time machine or google it to find out why it's no where near to shadow copy and this feature won't be no where near to time machine either because it's a typical Windows feature

Yes they are not the same, as Time Machine and OS X are incapable of doing Shadow Copies, as the OS X FS (HPFS) cannot do 'copy on write' or many other technologies that NTFS does.

What people are referring to, although technically not quite accurate, is Shadow Copies are the layman term for what Windows is doing by using the NTFS 'copy on write' feature.

Technically they are correct that what they know as Shadow Copies does keep multiple file versions though, so you are incorrect in just discarding this as irrelevant.

The technology is used by many things in Windows, the one that is like Time Machine is called 'Previous Versions'. It is also used for System Restore and driver rollbacks, and software rollbacks, and virtualizing folders for older software, and several other things that is at the heart of why Windows 7 is so stable, and can juggle FS operations that are impossible on an OS that does not have the basic 'copy on write' and tracking capabilities.

So this is some serious technology, implemented far beyond the basic 'copy on write' FS technology that existing a long time ago. (This is one of the main features that made ZFS so appealing to the non-Windows world, as it gave them a chance to challenge the features of NTFS at the performance of NTFS. Just using NTFS on Linux and OS X, you lose out on all the service level File System features, as you basically only get read and write, and don't even see what all NTFS can do without blinking.)

Back to Time Machine and Previous Versions...
Windows has been doing everything Time Machine does since Windows 2003 Server, as it was implemented with a full user interface for viewing a timeline of files by date and saves on the server.

Windows Vista included this functionality on the desktop, just as Windows 7 does.

So by using the 'copy on write' feature of NTFS, what most people think of as Shadow Copies, Windows is able to keep multiple versions of files and folders on a single hard drive volume. Windows Vista, like Windows 7, also tracks the backed up versions of files and folders, and keeps them just like Time Machine, and also displays them in the same timeline interface, known as 'Previous Versions'.

Time Machine on does backup versioning, Windows does both Backup and live on the volume/harddrive versioning as well of files and folders, that can be viewed as easy as any folder that is current. Just right click and select 'Restore Previous Versions' to see the timeline that has all the file or folder versions on the harddrive/volume and on the user's backup.

This is all turned on automatically, and even when the user plugs in an external hard drive, and selects use it for Windows Backup, the backups are then integrated into the 'timeline' automatically, just like Time Machine, even though it is apparently too transparent/automatic, as there are a LOT of people that Windows already does this.

So yes, it is tracking file saves and also taking time based snapshots and keeps track of them, both on the harddrive/volume in addtion to the user's backup that keeps running versions.

I wonder how many people that are Windows users have lost files and not realized they can recover them so easily. And this is something I do fault both technical writers and Microsoft, as Microsoft should have had a lot of attention to this feature especially when Time Machine seemed so cool, I think Microsoft assumed people knew Windows already had all of Time Machines functionality.

A simple commercial showing a person using Vista or Windows 7 opening up 'Previous Versions' would have gone a long way, especially if Microsoft would have also stated it does it even without a backup or the need for frequent backups that consume computer performance and require Mac users to drag along a backup.

This is basically allowing shadow copies to sit on a network share.

If you're an admin, you've known how to do this for years. But it's nice for home users.

Hercules said,
This is basically allowing shadow copies to sit on a network share.

If you're an admin, you've known how to do this for years. But it's nice for home users.

It might be that at this point but I imagine the front end will receive a lot of work making it even easier than it appears in the screenshot.

Hercules said,
This is basically allowing shadow copies to sit on a network share.

If you're an admin, you've known how to do this for years. But it's nice for home users.

Ya, that's basically it, but with a nice UI etc.

Hercules said,
This is basically allowing shadow copies to sit on a network share.

If you're an admin, you've known how to do this for years. But it's nice for home users.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 already does this. Just point your backup location to a network drive.

With Windows, your shadow copies (timeline versions) are also kept in your backups. If you have an active backup, note that if you select 'Previous Versions' it will list the 'shadow copy' versions on your local drive, as well as the versions kept in your backups.

This is just a new name and a cute UI showing people what is happening for features that ALREADY exist on Windows Vista and Windows 7, as it is apparent that very few people realize all of this is already happening, transparently to the user.

Finally! One of my favorite features on Mac is its simple, no-hassle, backup solution. Windows has always had OK built-in backup and it is definitely nice to see that they are working to improve that in the next version of Windows.

[quote=Shadrack said,]Finally! One of my favorite features on Mac is its simple, no-hassle, backup solution. Windows has always had OK built-in backup and it is definitely nice to see that they are working to improve that in the next version of Windows.[/quote

On windows 7 just go into backup and restore and setup a system image backup. Cannot be easier then that. Previous versions is a little harder to setup since you have to do that through system protection BUT its been their since vista. this just makes it easier to do .

Shadrack said,
Finally! One of my favorite features on Mac is its simple, no-hassle, backup solution. Windows has always had OK built-in backup and it is definitely nice to see that they are working to improve that in the next version of Windows.

Windows had Time Machine before OS X did...

On Windows Vista/Win7 it is called Previous Versions. You can right click any file or folder and see a timeline of all the versions of the files or folders on your local drive in addition to the versions on your backups like Time Machine does.

You have been cheating yourself if you bought the Apple marketing and assumed that this was something 'new' as it had been in the desktop version of Vista for six months when Apple introduced Time Machine, and had been in Windows 2003 Server for several years before that.

With Windows you more than Time Machine, as you also get timeline file/folder versions without a backup.

bob_c_b said,

We aren't really talking about the underlying tech that has been around for years, but this implementation which is a pretty blatant rip off of Time Machine. Don't deny MS is borrowing again.

Ah yes. The ol' "OH MA GAWD. M$ is ripping off Apple again!!!1!!!11!$%#%##$". I knew there would be at least one in here. *sigh*

bob_c_b said,

We aren't really talking about the underlying tech that has been around for years, but this implementation which is a pretty blatant rip off of Time Machine. Don't deny MS is borrowing again.

First off Windows has had this in server versions way before time machine was in osx. Also Microsoft has this in vista and windows 7 already but its not as easy to configure. this just makes it easier to configure. so technically apple copied microsoft.

bob_c_b said,
Now that's innovation.... from 4 years ago.

They are def. copying, that's nothing new for Microsoft. That's what they are good at but despite copying, it will be no where near to how Apple has implemented it. Time Machine is just awesome in OS X. Windows team can't innovate!!

Asesh said,

They are def. copying, that's nothing new for Microsoft. That's what they are good at but despite copying, it will be no where near to how Apple has implemented it. Time Machine is just awesome in OS X. Windows team can't innovate!!


erm, have you seen WP7? Shadow Copy? Full Disc Encryption?

Asesh said,

They are def. copying, that's nothing new for Microsoft. That's what they are good at but despite copying, it will be no where near to how Apple has implemented it. Time Machine is just awesome in OS X. Windows team can't innovate!!

I think your Apple branded goggles might be on a bit too tight.

bob_c_b said,

We aren't really talking about the underlying tech that has been around for years, but this implementation which is a pretty blatant rip off of Time Machine. Don't deny MS is borrowing again.

Dude go to any machine running Windows Vista or 7, and right click on a file or folder. Notice the option 'Restore Previous Versions'?

This opens a timeline of file and folder versions that you can access that come from your backups as well as versions that still exist on the local hard drive.

The underlying technology is actually 'copy on write' and NT and NTFS has had this for over 10 years.

The thing the OP is referring to is the actual 'timeline' interface added to Vista. (The interface was first offered on Windows 2003 server, and even XP users accessing the server could use this feature.)

Also 'copy on write' or 'shadow copies' are NOT EVEN something OS X can do, NOR is it how Time Machine works at all, as you must have a backup location for Time Machine to work. On Windows it is transparent and versions are available even without a backup. (HPFS cannot do copy on write.)

So why are you saying the technology is a rip off, when OS X can only do the backup based file versioning? That is taking stupid and adding more stupid...

thenetavenger said,

Dude go to any machine running Windows Vista or 7, and right click on a file or folder. Notice the option 'Restore Previous Versions'?

This opens a timeline of file and folder versions that you can access that come from your backups as well as versions that still exist on the local hard drive.

The underlying technology is actually 'copy on write' and NT and NTFS has had this for over 10 years.

The thing the OP is referring to is the actual 'timeline' interface added to Vista. (The interface was first offered on Windows 2003 server, and even XP users accessing the server could use this feature.)

Also 'copy on write' or 'shadow copies' are NOT EVEN something OS X can do, NOR is it how Time Machine works at all, as you must have a backup location for Time Machine to work. On Windows it is transparent and versions are available even without a backup. (HPFS cannot do copy on write.)

So why are you saying the technology is a rip off, when OS X can only do the backup based file versioning? That is taking stupid and adding more stupid...

Put away your 'facts', 'reality' and technologically better implementation MS has done. Apple advertised the feature to the masses first, ergo, they retroactively invented it.


Shadow Copy and Time Machine has few things in common.

Shadow Copies are created upon system restore points, Time Machine copies on backup dates. Time Machine is a full-fledged backup solution besides allowing you to step back for individual files, and shadow copies aren't. Upon a clean install of OS X, you're given the option to rebuild the full system from a Time Machine backup - this is nothing like how Shadow Copies work.

Northgrove said,

Shadow Copy and Time Machine has few things in common.

Shadow Copies are created upon system restore points, Time Machine copies on backup dates. Time Machine is a full-fledged backup solution besides allowing you to step back for individual files, and shadow copies aren't. Upon a clean install of OS X, you're given the option to rebuild the full system from a Time Machine backup - this is nothing like how Shadow Copies work.


You obviously never used Previous Versions and Windows Backup.

Another ignorant isheep.

majortom1981 said,

First off Windows has had this in server versions way before time machine was in osx. Also Microsoft has this in vista and windows 7 already but its not as easy to configure. this just makes it easier to configure. so technically apple copied microsoft.

Microsoft invented 'Time Machine'. H.G.Wells has been a Microsoft employee.

bob_c_b said,

We aren't really talking about the underlying tech that has been around for years, but this implementation which is a pretty blatant rip off of Time Machine. Don't deny MS is borrowing again.

Time machine itself is almost a direct ripoff of a tech that was included in windows 2000, with a glossy look! SHADOW COPY!

MS is simply adding a nicer UI by the looks of things as users need things to be obvious or they wont use them.

Tony. said,
Another feature on that website shows Videos for user pictures, should be interesting!

link please, don't read chinese. thanks

Tony. said,
Another feature on that website shows Videos for user pictures, should be interesting!

Really? I can't think of ANYTHING that would be less interesting than videos for user pictures. In fact user pictures at all feel a bit redundant.

trashoner said,

link please, don't read chinese. thanks

It's in the original link which is linked to this photo, it's about 2/3 above the picture used in this news segment. You can see the windows media player icon on them.

They have already had a file history version in Vista and 7. It just wasn't always automatic and took a while to start, so a file of only a few weeks may not have a history file. I hope this is instant and takes a snapshot of the files right away.

I don't think they need a separate program like this for it though, in line files would be enough, that interface looks complicated as is.

ccoltmanm said,
They have already had a file history version in Vista and 7. It just wasn't always automatic and took a while to start, so a file of only a few weeks may not have a history file. I hope this is instant and takes a snapshot of the files right away.

I don't think they need a separate program like this for it though, in line files would be enough, that interface looks complicated as is.

Complicated? It only shows the available drives and an option to select and share them. It can't get any easier than that.

ccoltmanm said,
They have already had a file history version in Vista and 7. It just wasn't always automatic and took a while to start, so a file of only a few weeks may not have a history file. I hope this is instant and takes a snapshot of the files right away.

I don't think they need a separate program like this for it though, in line files would be enough, that interface looks complicated as is.

1) It is automatic, as it creates the versions based on a time when a restore point is done or when you save a file.
2) It is also fully automatic with backup versions. Plug in an external hard drive, in the pop up Wizard, select Create a Backup. The file versions will be saved to your external drive the first time the backup runs, and it will keep versions of the files going back as far as you have hard drive space for on the external drive.

Windows does both local file versioning and backup file versioning. Time Machine is ONLY backup file versioning...

I hope this is optional.
I hate laptops and such that "reserve" space for this sort of thing. While I realise there are ways around it, I'd rather just be in complete control from the start.

Mr Spoon said,
I hope this is optional.
I hate laptops and such that "reserve" space for this sort of thing. While I realise there are ways around it, I'd rather just be in complete control from the start.

It is already there in Windows Vista and 7...it's called Shadow Copy...

Aaron44126 said,
Shadow Copy doesn't save you from a disk failure...

Which is why the "Previous Versions" feature of Windows 7 can pull from shadow copies AND backups made with Windows Backup.

I don't see how this will be any different from a functionality standpoint. Looks like they're just bringing an existing feature to the surface.

Mr Spoon said,
I hope this is optional.
I hate laptops and such that "reserve" space for this sort of thing. While I realise there are ways around it, I'd rather just be in complete control from the start.

Reserve space? Who on earth does backups on same HDD/machine?!

StarLion said,

Which is why the "Previous Versions" feature of Windows 7 can pull from shadow copies AND backups made with Windows Backup.

Well most people don't even know Shadow Copy exists. So perhaps they are rebranding it and add new features with this History Vault.

I don't see how this will be any different from a functionality standpoint. Looks like they're just bringing an existing feature to the surface.

StarLion said,

Which is why the "Previous Versions" feature of Windows 7 can pull from shadow copies AND backups made with Windows Backup.

I don't see how this will be any different from a functionality standpoint. Looks like they're just bringing an existing feature to the surface.

It could just be that but I think they're also giving you more control so you can pick which files/folders instead of the whole volume as is the case with shadow copies and the backup feature we have now. That's how it looks like to me. And extending shadow copies itself to support external devices so that it can then just work on it's own without you needing to do a full backup of the volume saves time as well. Sounds more streamlined and overall functional if done how I expect.

GP007 said,

It could just be that but I think they're also giving you more control so you can pick which files/folders instead of the whole volume as is the case with shadow copies and the backup feature we have now. That's how it looks like to me. And extending shadow copies itself to support external devices so that it can then just work on it's own without you needing to do a full backup of the volume saves time as well. Sounds more streamlined and overall functional if done how I expect.

Um, you can already access specific files and folders...

Go Right click on a file or folder and select 'Restore Previous Versions'...

You have a full timeline of the local 'shadow copies' and a full time of all the versions store in your backups.

You can open each folder and view it, drag files from it. You can open each file or copy it wherever you want. It makes Time Machine look confusing in comparison and is far more granular as you do get access to each file and folder and all their 'shadow' versions and backup versions in one clean timeline view.

The only 'full volume' interface is if you are using Windows Backup/Restore or do a System Restore, that also uses the file timeline versioning technology.

Currently in Windows 7 creating a *manual* backup to an *external* device creates shadow copies on it. This can be a scheduled operation. But *automatic* shadow copies are only created on the local drives. The improvement in Windows 8 looks like allowing *automatic* (as in continuous data protection, not just scheduled) shadow copies to *external disks*. BUT MS do have a tendency to do very very incremental improvements but rename and remarket any particular feature as a completely new thing. We will know once they tell us what is new over Windows 7. On the server side, they have a very nice product called Data Protection Manager to do this.

Edited by , Mar 30 2011, 6:30pm :

StarLion said,

Which is why the "Previous Versions" feature of Windows 7 can pull from shadow copies AND backups made with Windows Backup.

I don't see how this will be any different from a functionality standpoint. Looks like they're just bringing an existing feature to the surface.


Yea probably rebrand or something. Nice either way.
Hope the move the settings to a less hidden place, I mean, why isn't it in the security section of the control panel together with backups?