Microsoft shows off its new file system

While Microsoft has been talking about replacing its NTFS file system with ReFS for a while, it has kept the lid on what ReFS actually is.

Now Vole has been showing off details of “Protogon” which will first be seen as part of Windows Server 8 before ending up as part of Windows 8.

Dubbed ReFS, the name means Resilient File System. According to Virtualization Review, ReFS will become a storage system for Windows clients, and then ultimately “as a boot volume.”

Surendra Verma, a development manager on the Windows Storage and File System team, said  NTFS, the New Technology File System, has been part of Windows since Windows XP in 2001 and Windows NT 3.1. in 1993.

It will mean that some NTFS features will disappear. This includes things like named streams, object IDs, short names, compression, file level encryption (EFS), user data transactions, sparse, hard-links, extended attributes, and quotas.

Verma said that Microsoft is hard at work trying to get ReFS is to maintain a high degree of compatibility with a subset of NTFS features that are widely adopted, while killing off others that provide limited value at the cost of system complexity and footprint.

It works with the Storage Spaces feature in Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 and will help with things like verification and auto-correction of data.

It is quite brave of Vole to come up with such a radical move on its software. Microsoft has been saying that it was going to change its file system for ages. While Microsoft has never actually sounded off about the NTFS it does do some things in a pretty strange way.

But one of the fears is that both Microsoft and the IT industry need Windows 8 to go off without a hitch and not be another Vista. Redoing the file system will create a lot of backward compatibility problems which Microsoft does not need.

If people do not buy a new PC this year because Windows 8 will not run half their software or drivers it could send the industry into a spin and  ReFS will be nick named DooFS and the change that killed the Vole.