Singularity is just one of the non-Windows platforms prototyped by Microsoft Research, with additional examples including Menlo and Barrelfish.
An operating system built in parallel with Windows 7 and that continues to be available even as Microsoft develops Windows 8, according to Microsoft's Sam Stokes the number of Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK) downloads has surpassed the 300,000 mark, a surprising statistics especially considering that this OS is only offered for academic non-commercial use.
Microsoft last updated Singularity back in November 2008, when it released Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK) 2.0 Initial Release (17067). There have been no additional releases of the Singularity OS since then.
"Singularity is still a research project focused on the construction of dependable systems through innovation in the areas of systems, languages, and tools," reads the project's description. "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."
One great thing about Singularity is the fact that it served as the starting point for a number of additional non-Windows operating systems, also explored by Microsoft researchers, such as Barrelfish.
A new release of Barrelfish was made available to researchers worldwide free of charge almost a month ago.
"BarrelFish is more advanced, but Singularity has a strong following and for the investigation of type safe programming or dependability, singularity is a great demo of what a research O/S should look like," Stokes said.
You can download the bootable ISO from CodePlex.
[Via: Sam Stokes]