On June 30, Microsoft begins phasing out Windows XP by no longer providing copies of the operating system to PC makers and retailers for preloading on new machines. It’s also a good day (thanks to a recent New York Times opinion piece) to start looking ahead to what comes next — after Windows.
That answer could be Softie Eric Rudder’s mysterious “Midori” project.
Microsoft also has been investigating for the past several years what a non-Windows-based operating system might look like. That project, which recently hit the 1.0 milestone, is code-named “Singularity.”
This is how the Singularity team described its mission:
“The Singularity project started in 2003 to re-examine the design decisions and increasingly obvious shortcomings of existing systems and software stacks. These shortcomings include: widespread security vulnerabilities; unexpected interactions among applications; failures caused by errant extensions, plug-ins, and drivers, and a perceived lack of robustness. We believe that many of these problems are attributable to systems that have not evolved far beyond the computer architectures and programming languages of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The computing environment of that period was very different from today….”
As Microsoft officials have said, Singularity — a microkernel-based operating system written as managed code — is for research purposes. Microsoft has no plans to commercialize it.
But what Microsoft hasn’t discussed publicly — which I address in my Microsoft 2.0 book — is that Microsoft is working on a derivative of Singularity, code-named “Midori,” which could end up seeing the light of day somewhere down the line. From Microsoft 2.0[…]