Microsoft researchers released a prototype OS, code-named Barrelfish, an OS written specifically for multicore environments. It hopes to improve the performance of boxes with such chips by creating a network bus, if you’ll, between cores. Today such systems tend to share resources like memory. As demand increases, performance of the box decreases as shared resources don't scale well. Barrelfish instead passes messages between cores on its bus, and reportedly uses a database-like approach to keep track of the hardware available. The project hasn't exactly been a secret. Researchers have been trotting the globe lecturing on it for about a year. But they were shy about releasing code. On Sept. 15, that changed with the release of the first snapshot of the OS.
More info: Research Paper (pdf)