29 April 2003 Longhorn, the next version of Microsoft Windows XP, slated for release in late 2004 or early 2005, has been leaked onto the Internet. Furthermore, analysts who have examined the test release suggest that work on it is ahead of schedule.
The major architectural upgrade in the new operating system will be the new file system, called Windows Future Storage (WinFS). This will be based on Yukon, the long-awaited next version of Microsoft’s SQL Server database.
The hope is that WinFS will help users more easily find files on increasingly large hard disk drives.
WinFS will replace NTFS, which was developed for Windows NT and also featured on Windows XP and FAT32, which was developed for the Windows 9x family of desktop operating systems.
Other features of Longhorn include better organisation of files and programs, easier configurability of PC settings and easier installation.
A first beta version of the Yukon database is expected to be released in June. Yukon will feature integration with the Common Language Runtime (CLR), a key element of Microsoft’s .Net framework, support for new data types and enhanced scalability.