Midori team member Jonathan Shapiro leaving Microsoft

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


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • must be the M$ layoffs

    M$ needs only lawyers and salesmen.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Your accurate post

      Correction: "Very possibly an army of lawyers" it would seem!!!
    • so witty, he says M$ rather than MS...

      how does he do it people? doesn't this just prove how intelligent linux users are? switch now!
      linux geek2
  • Hhmmm.

    I think it's always telling when a publicized ?fairly senior" hire
    leaves a company within a year, or as in this case just over 6
    months. His first batch of options likely haven't vested yet,
    and I doubt he got a grant of shares. So either someone else
    made him an offer he couldn't refuse ( last year his list said
    he had interviewed with Google) or his gig at MS was so bad
    it wasn't worth free money to stay. Are non-competes legal
    in Washington state? If not, I guess we'll get the answer to
    this mystery tomorrow.
    • The best and the brightest are not in it for the money, they can make more

      than they need (or want) wherever they go.

      So, I imagine that he just did not like the
      direction of the project, and maybe has an offer
      somewhere else, like at Google.
      • That's so right Donnie Boy!

        Just look at all the top notch talent that left Google, the same Google that paid these people TONS of money.

        Just like this M$ dude, no ammount of money can keep the best and the brightest from going where they want!!!
        Ron Bergundy
        • Good point, a lot of very talented people also leave Google! To get the

          best and the brightest, that is the trade-off. They
          are very likely to go off at the first thing more
          challenging. Google even encourages it, known that
          is what it takes.
          • How come a

            guy so dumb like you say things about Google or MS
            employment? I doubt you'd ever pass the first phone
            screening of either company
          • Well, the insults are quite cute!! But, back on topic: Are the best and the

            brightest more likely to want to work in a closed
            environment where everything is top secret, or, on
            an open project where the code is open? Why?
          • Depends on the person

            Many of the best and brightest I've met are astonishingly smart in narrow subjects, but are often unable to tie their own shoelaces.

            There's a reason that the stereotype of the uuber geek is someone living in a dark room isolated from everyone else eating pizza and drinking 'dew.

            Most really driven hyper-intelligent types would rather have all the resources they need to research and study their subject of choice than have to regularly publish papers or present their work openly.
      • Anywhere but Red Hat.

        He is a traitor to FOSS. He can go ahead and go with Novell, I hate them anyway. SuSe sucks. Fedora for the win.
  • Also, the best and the brightest do not like to be isolated from peers

    around the world as happens at Microsoft. They much
    prefer open source projects where they are free to mingle
    with others, and talk about what they are doing.
    • Give us the rest Donnie Boy!

      It really really sounds like you're "in the know" on this!!!

      Is it true that M$ bugs their phones at work and home? I hear they put tracking devices on all their people, following then covertly in public, watching their houses, all to keep them isolated from all the other people in the software community!

      Google on the other hand is so cool! I hear that developers freely talk openly with the guests in the buildings about Google plans and stuff, what they're working on, everything!!
      I bet YOU know everything their working on right now, so fill us in!

      I can see why EVERYBODY is leaving M$ in DROVES to work for companies like Google!!
      Ron Bergundy
      • No, MS is not even close to being that stupid.

  • I think MS is SO evil

    they probably gave him AIDS and that's why he is leaving. They likely followed that up by making him work long hours as a catholic choir boy at night where the priests were able to have their way with him.

    I say this because MS is just that evil that I believe they'd do this. It's just as likely as what anyone else posted.
  • RE: Midori team member Jonathan Shapiro leaving Microsoft

  • RE: Midori team member Jonathan Shapiro leaving Microsoft

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