"Linux boasts the widest array of filesystem support among
mainstream operating systems. However, Microsoft (with Longhorn)
and Apple (with Tiger) have made it clear that they consider the
filesystem of the future to be a database of information to be
mined, and that client PCs will be a major part of the next chapter
in the "search wars." The future of Linux may depend on whether
Linux filesystems continue to innovate.
"The filesystem mediates between the operating system and the
storage device, mapping what the operating system understands as
directories and files onto what the device understands such as
tracks and sectors. This seems like an essential but mundane
function--not one that has a major bearing on IT decision-making.
However, anyone who has ever had to defragment a Windows disk, or
watch fsck grind through a long recovery on a Linux ext2 disk
partition, can appreciate how important the filesystem can suddenly