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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

With all the computing power available it's so disappointing to see it being sucked up by ever bigger bloatware, so it's refreshing to see Microsoft focusing on getting things thin and efficient.

And from this I picked up the interesting news regarding Microsoft's research into the concept of a Singularity based O/S

Singularity Overview

Singularity is a research project focused on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools. We are building a research operating system prototype (called Singularity), extending programming languages, and developing new techniques and tools for specifying and verifying program behavior.

Advances in languages, compilers, and tools open the possibility of significantly improving software. For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernel’s address space.

Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Broader application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.

Stripped-down ‘MinWin’ kernel to be at the core of Windows 7 and more

Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 4:03 am

Microsoft has created a stripped-down version of the Windows core, called MinWin, that will be at the heart of future Windows products, starting with Windows 7, the Windows client release due in 2010.

While the Windows team has been working for years on reducing the dependencies in Windows which have made the operating system increasingly bloated and difficult to maintain and upgrade, it’s only been recently that the team has been able to create a separate, usuable new core.

Going forward, MinWin will be at the heart of future versions of Windows Media Center, Windows Server, embedded Windows products and more.

Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut described some of the work the Microsoft Core OS team has done to build the MinWin core during a recent talk he gave at the University of Illinois. The full video of Traut’s talk is here. Blogger Long Zheng clipped out the piece of Traut’s talk which highlighted how the MinWin core will work in Windows 7 and posted it to his site.

MinWin is internal-only and “won’t be productized but it will be the basis for future products,” Traut said. But “it’s proof there is a really nice little core inside Windows.”

MinWin is 25 MB on disk; Vista is 4 GB, Traut said. (The slimmed-down Windows Server 2008 core is still 1.5 GB in size.) The MinWin kernel does not include a graphics subsystem in its current build, but does incorporate a “very simple HTTP server,” Traut said. The MinWin core is 100 files total, while all of Windows is 5,000 files in size.

Traut said he is running a team of 200 Windows engineers working on the core kernel and Windows virtual technologies.

Traut acknowledged tat the Windows kernel is between twelve and fifteen years old right now. He said that Microsoft is operating under the premise that “at some point, we’ll have to replace it (the kernel),” given that it “doesn’t have an unlimited life span.

Traut did not mention Singularity — Microsoft Research’s built-from-scratch microkernel-based operating system — during his talk.

» Stripped-down ‘MinWin’ kernel to be at the core of Windows 7 and more | All about Microsoft | ZDNet.com

Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:19 PM Real Cool Stuff , Microsoft Tips | Back to top


Comments on this post: Super small windows coming after the Vista mega monster? Let's hope it's the end of Bloatware?

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