Microsoft's Midori operating system is still alive (and seemingly well)

Summary:It looks like Microsoft is continuing to incubate its stealth Midori operating system project. On September 18, a thinly-veiled Midori reference appeared on a blog of one of its team members who noted that the OS incubation project on which he works is actively hiring.

It's been eerily quiet on the Microsoft Midori front -- at least since March of this year when Jonathan Shapiro quit the stealth Microsoft operating system project and left the company.

Shapiro hasn't been willing/able to comment on why he left. And Microsoft execs have continued to refuse to acknowledge much about Midori other than yes, there was a codename for an operating system incubation project by that name.

I've gotten more than a few reader queries about Midori. Did Microsoft quietly kill the effort? If not, what's the latest about it?

On September 18, a thinly-veiled Midori reference appeared on a blog of one of its team members, Joe Duffy (who identifies himself as "principal architect on an OS incubation project at Microsoft"). Entitled "We are hiring," Duffy's post begins:

"I have several positions open on my team here at Microsoft.

"My team's responsibility spans multiple aspects of a new operating system’s programming model. The three main areas are concurrency, languages, and frameworks. When I say concurrency, I mean things like asynchrony and message passing, data and task parallelism, distributed parallelism, runtime scheduling and resource management, and heterogeneity and GPGPU. When I say languages, I mean type systems, mostly-functional programming, verified safe concurrency, and both front- and back-end compilation. And when I say frameworks, I mean virtually anything you could imagine wanting out of a platform framework: all things XML, data interoperability (database, web services, etc.), collections, transactions, multimaster synchronization, and even low level things, like regex, numerics, and globalization."

I realize there is no mention in Duffy's post of Midori, or even Singularity, the Microsoft Research operating system project (which was the original inspiration and foundation for Midori). But past leaks about Midori have indicated that the operating system is focused on bringing concurrency, distributed computing and parallelism to the fore.

(Duffy, by the way, was Lead Developer and Architect for Parallel Extensions to .NET. and author of the book Concurrent Programming on Windows.)

There are no new hints about how close Midori is to debut or any new insights as to how Microsoft is planning to position it if and when it does go public. But at least it seems Midori hasn't fallen prey to the cost-cutting ax, at least for now....

(Thanks to reader Vincent-Philippe Lauzon for the pointer to Duffy's post.)

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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