WinFS, We Hardly Knew Ye!

According to BusinessWeek, Microsoft is cutting features in Longhorn in order to achieve a first-half 2006 ship date. BusinessWeek says that the biggest casualty will be WinFS, the metadata store that would go beyond things like size and creation date to track an enormous number of attributes about files. BusinessWeek says "the current plan calls for [WinFS] to work on PCs but not to extend to files shared over a corporate network," which on the face of it appears a curious "cutting point." If the technology's a go locally, one would think that network capability would simply be slower.

I go back and forth on the inherent value of WinFS: on the one hand, it certainly seems like I want to have all the documents relating to Project X available at a moments notice, but maybe I just want a desktop Google in the sense of a comprehensive index, some activity-based ranking algorithm, and really, really fast implementation.