News.com covers the latest Windows Longhorn leak, giving a lot of attention to the WinFS, aka Windows Future Storage. (Curiously enough, I wrote a rough Zope - Object Relational layer proposal a few years ago called Future Storage). While it's certainly not new ground (nothing already tried by BFS), it does seem to represent the realization of a dream Microsof has had for a long long time - the so-called object file system. OFS was a big piece of Cairo, part of the family of cool operating system dreams that were floating around in the early to mid nineties as the name for a significantly new version of Windows NT. I was reading a collection of old BYTE articles the other night (November 1996) talking about the next generation operating systems coming down the pipe: the 64 bit Unixes, Apple's ill-fated Copland, and Cairo.
The interesting thing was that at the time, with both Copland and Cairo long overschedule, both Apple and Microsoft had switched to a piecemeal release strategy. Pieces of Copland had already appeared in System 7.5 (the Open Transport networking system) with plans for other components to find their way into System 7.x as Copland approached. Microsoft spun Cairo away from "the next big thing", and instead the plan was that Cairo features would slowly find their way into Windows NT. Of the big Cairo technologies, some have already found their way out, but the Object File System has been the elusive one. It will be interesting to see how the new WinFS actually plays out.
It's interesting to see how much the world has changed since then. Rhapsody wasn't even a blip in Apple's eye. Taligent still had some hope in it yet. PowerPC's were outperforming Intel chips, and Java Chips seemed like the next hardware wave. Real OpenDoc parts were coming out. Now.. Well, the internet exploded, Linux exploded, Nashville (Microsoft's plans to integrate IE into the Windows UI) did happen, Copland was axed, Steve Jobs changed the face of Apple completely, Taligent's dead, and Java chips are nowhere to be found (near as I can tell).