On our first delivery we took a look at what each of these huge companies (google and Microsoft) are about to launch into the world, setting up the framework for the way in which we will probably refer to technology in the very near future. ..this time around lets take a further look at one of the parties in question.
What has Microsoft got for us?
Microsoft has consistently delayed the launch of the newest version of its very popular operating system, Windows. Known as Windows Vista, it supposedly comes with an awful amount of new features and the complexity of its programming make its development very slow.
Loads of documentation is circulating regarding the new features of Windows Vista, however, the three main innovations are WinFx, Indigo and WinFS.
WinFx is the new API destined to replace the current win32, Indigo is a set of Microsoft .NET technologies designed for the creation of connected systems based on web services, and WinFS corresponds to an extension of the NTFS file system which complements it by adding functions and searches typical to data bases. WinFS also provides and API for developers.
Translating all of this into english, we will have a totally rejuvenated operating system and new window, menus and dialogue box designs that will allow us to make them transparent and even display them in 3D. All of this together with a tremendous web integration.
WinFS provides us with a complete to NTFS files system by adding functions that are typically seen in data bases. This way, a search for information will not only come up with a determined file as a result, we will also be able to obtain additional information that cross references the fields of our search. Now the results on our search will include information from our contact list, emails, text files, notes, etc. Some tasks will even be able to be automated, such as sending a reminder alert by email or as an instant message to a cell phone.
Why is there such interest in the organization, classification and searching of information? Given the intense sizes of the hard drives that are being launched to the market, and the gigantic amount of information that is produced daily, file management has become harder and harder, particularly in work environments with shared information. As a matter of fact, according to an IDC study, those who work with data, spend about 15 to 30% of their time searching for the data they need.
Specifically, Windows Vista should have a revolution in terms of the way in which one relates to the machine. The grouping and management of the information will become a fundamental issue, considering that the enormous amounts of data both in the hard drive and on the net will make it redundantly necessary to find a new way to access it, which bottom line is what matters matters .
It's true that Windows Vista offers an incredible amount of possibilities regarding information management, search, indexing and establishment of relationships, in how it interacts with the user and in the way in which it better utilizes the data that is brought up … if you think about it, it is practically the same business that Google does when it in some way organizes the information on the Internet … and practically the same thing that it intends to do with its application "google desktop".
Are we amidst the battle of two giants which will determine who is the "best search"? No doubt, Microsoft expects to revolutionize the interaction with our computers without forgetting the traditional business model where software distribution is done through direct points of sale, or indirectly through the purchase of new computers that carry the new operating system. Very far from what Google is doing by engaging in joint ventures with other companies and distributing its software as part of other software packages or simply offering free downloads online.