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Microsoft Midori, for when Windows Becomes Irrelevant

added by Michael on 31 Jul 2008

Microsoft can read the writing on the wall.  At the pace Internet technology is developing, there will one day no longer be a need for an Operating System like Windows, a "fat" operating system that does not effectively leverage today's distributed networks and cloud computing.  Enter Midori.


Rumor has it that Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research Singularity OS, and that it will run as a virtual OS supported by Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization platform.  As "Managed Code", it would execute under the supervision of a virtual machine instead of directly by the CPU.


Perhaps one day, you might carry your entire computer on a thumb drive as a virtual construct, in a day where "booting up" is no longer a common phrase.


From Information Week:

Microsoft has said little about Midori and isn't commenting publicly on the project. But company research documents confirm that the project exists and is related to a public project called Singularity -- under which Microsoft developers are creating a slimmed down OS for use in the research community.


During a recent talk on a software tool called Chess, which is designed to check the status of programs that run in multithreaded architectures, Microsoft researchers Madan Musuvathi and Shaz Qadeer made reference to Midori by name in a PowerPoint presentation, documents show. In one slide, the researchers describe Midori as "OS in managed code."


Managed code refers to programs that can run in virtual environments across multiple computers, a setup that facilitates cloud computing, rather than working off a single CPU. It's a sign that Midori could possibly run as a virtual OS supported by Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization platform.


In a separate, solo presentation at Princeton University in December, Qadeer noted that Chess supports Win32, Microsoft's Common Runtime Language, and "Midori OS," according to a copy of Qadeer's presentation viewed Wednesday by InformationWeek.


Midori, if it makes its way to the market, could solve a number of problems for Microsoft. The current version of Windows, known as Vista, has been poorly received by IT managers. Many view it as too large and resource hungry, and too desktop-centric, for an era in which much of business computing's heavy lifting is migrating to the Web.


And the forthcoming Windows 7, set for release in 2010, may do little to help the situation. Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 is being built from the same code base as Vista and architecturally will not significantly differ from its predecessor.