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Microsoft Data Indexing Project – Window 7

Microsoft tossed up two more job listings for Windows 7 explicitly looking for software engineers who want to “shape the vision of browsing, searching, indexing and visualizing data.”

These new job listings only have one major difference: assuming this isn’t a typo like the word “a” further down in the listings, one is searching for an engineer for the next version of Windows (238893), whereas the other is in search of someone for future versions of Windows (238899). Besides this, the two are completely identical, which leads us to the substance:

Want to shape the vision of browsing, searching, indexing and visualizing data?
The Windows group is looking for engineering staff to be a part of history by reinventing the way people think about their data. Our team is responsible for developing the Windows Explorer. In the next version[s] of Windows we will be breaking new ground enabling users to act on their items, irrespective of where they are stored and delivering a [sic] indexing technology to provide wicked fast views over their local data. [emphasis added]

First of all, the engineer hired for the task will work alongside the Windows Explorer team, which could immediately knock out the possibility of WinFS making a comeback. There is also no word of applications being able to interact with data as there was with WinFS. Since Virtual Folders were an Explorer-centric feature meant mostly for users, this could just be a revival of the old Virtual Folders. Given how popular Virtual Folders were amongst power users when Beta 1 of Windows Vista went live, I wouldn’t be surprised.

It looks the Virtual Folders will be reincarnated in Windows 7 as Libraries. In short, they’ll “let you access and arrange items from one or more folders quickly without moving them from their original locations.”

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