WinFS is a new Windows storage subsystem, currently being developed by Microsoft for the Windows Vista Operating System. WinFS is a relational database located on NTFS which appears to the operating system as a file storage subsystem. WinFS stands for Windows Future Storage.
WinFS is intended to integrate traditional relational databases, objects, XML, and file systems of unstructured documents by the use of metadata. Instead of representing a file simply by directory path and filename, WinFS represents individual domain objects, eg: images, e-mails, address book entries, and any kind of regular file, with indexed and searchable context and keyword information.
WinFS is based on Microsoft SQL Server database engine and will continue to provides access to data through both traditional file-based APIs, and new object-based approaches that take advantage of the new features. Applications that are not written to take advantage of WinFS will be able to access the contents of a WinFS File Store through a regular UNC path. UNC (Universal Naming Convention) is a standard for identifying servers, printers and other resources in a network. A UNC path uses double backslashes before the name of the computer and the disks and directories within the computer are separated with a single backslash, eg: