The spin on WinFS

9 PM June 25, 2006

The WinFS team’s latest weblog entry reads like a PR intern’s first assignment. You know, the first assignment where the intern and his mentor sit down with the intern’s personal best effort, and the mentor patiently explains what and why, while covering most of the page in red pen, and pretending not to notice the the tear in intern’s eye.

Their first paragraph says:

Today I have an update about how we are delivering some of the WinFS technologies. It represents a change to our original delivery strategy, but it’s a change that we think that you’ll like based on the feedback that we’ve received.

Skipping past five paragraphs about how bits and pieces of WinFS will be rolled into other products, we finally come to the second sentence of the second last paragraph, where we find out what will happen to WinFS:

Since WinFS is no longer being delivered as a standalone software component,...

I suppose non-delivery counts as a “change to our original delivery strategy.” Keeping in mind that this is the same product that Microsoft were touting as recently as two Tuesdays ago, I don’t see how they can think their customers will “like” the change.

This announcement comes across as typical, mealy-mouthed, weasel-word corporate dishonesty. Really, Microsoft, your customers just aren’t that stupid.

The WinFS guys would have been better off with a pithy three paragraphs announcing the axing of the product, quickly followed with another about where the technology was going. See Tim Bray for inspiration.

Update: Well, it turns out that Charles beat me to it, and did a better job of it. As usual.

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