Microsoft is gearing up to debut what it referred to as major improvements for Windows 8, designed to take file access in branch offices to the next level.

Even if Windows 7 is still in pre-RC stage, with the Escrow for the Win 7 Release Candidate, Build 7077, out the door, Microsoft has already confirmed that it is looking past the next iteration of Windows.

The focus on branch office scenarios related to file access simply comes to offer official confirmation that the Redmond company's strategy for Windows client and server platforms stretches well over Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, even though the two operating system releases are yet to be finalized.

"For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements.

We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices," the Redmond company revealed in a job posting (via ActiveWin).

The innovative features cooking for Windows 8 are related to the Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) service. The multi-master replication engine is set up to streamline folder synchronization across multiple servers. In this regard, the Windows 8 reference is related not only to the Windows 8 client, but also to Windows 8 server.

With Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has already taken measures to kick file access in branch office scenarios to the next level with BranchCache. It is possible in this context, that the major improvements are nothing more than the evolution of BranchCache in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, planned for Windows 8 client and Windows 8 server.

"DFSR is Microsoft's premier file replication engine and is an integral part of our branch office strategy and File Server role. It can scale to thousands of servers and replicate hundreds of terabytes of data.

We have shipped the technology that powers file sharing in Windows Live Messenger, Windows Meeting Spaces (Vista) and Branch Office replication in Windows Server 2008 which has strong customer deployment.

DFSR technology saves MS-IT and our customers more than 80% WAN bandwidth by using advanced On-The-Wire differential compression," the software giant adds in the job posting.

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