Midori team member Jonathan Shapiro leaving Microsoft

Summary:It's been awfully quiet on the Midori front lately. But here's one bit of news related to Microsoft's (mostly) secret operating-system incubation project: Midori team Jonathan Shapiro is leaving the company after less than a year.

It's been awfully quiet on the Midori front lately. But here's one bit of news related to Microsoft's (mostly) secret operating-system incubation project: Midori team Jonathan Shapiro is leaving the company after less than a year.

One of the chief developers of the BitC language and Coyotos operating system, Shapiro joined Microsoft to work on Midori last April.

In a March 9 note to the BitC mailing list, Shapiro tipped his hand (a bit):

"Since I'm not formally out of Microsoft yet, I need to emphasize that I'm not engaged in this discussion (about the future of BitC)on behalf of the company, that so far as I know Microsoft has no interest in BitC one way or the other. They've been gracious in allowing me to restart this set of conversations before my last day (which is March 19th)."

Coyotos, like Midori, is a microkernel-based operating system. If and when it makes it out of incurbation, Midori is expected to take the form of a distributed, object-oriented operating system which ultimately may supplant Windows. Microsoft officials repeatedly have refused to comment on Midori’s timetable or goals. We do know that Microsoft assembled an all-star team to work on the project, however.

I asked Shapiro, via e-mail, about his reasons for leaving but didn't receive more information from him.

Microsoft Senior Vice President of Technical Strategy Eric Rudder is said to be heading up the Midori project. Interestingly, however, Rudder most recently was demonstrating Microsoft's three-screens-and-a-cloud strategy at TechEd in Dubai.

Does Shapiro's departure and Rudder's recent public appearance flogging Windows Phone 7 mean that Midori is no more? Or might it mean that elements of Midori have moved into a Microsoft product group (or groups) -- the next natural phase of an incubation? Remember: Midori has a lot of implications for Microsoft's future cloud strategy, so it's not entirely odd that Rudder was talking up devices and the cloud. Still, all this does have me curious.

Microsoft still isn't talking in any way about Midori, so there's no more official information as to what's happening with the project. Anyone out there have any information (or even educated guesses)?

(Thanks to reader Sam for the tip on Shapiro leaving.)

Topics: Microsoft, CXO, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development

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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