Over on SD Times, there are new technical details on Microsoft's "Midori," the alleged successor to Windows that I blogged about last month.
SD Times has seen some new Microsoft documentation that provides more specifics on the Singularity-microkernel-based operating system that is being developed by a team under Eric Rudder, the one-time heir-apparent to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
Midori is, indeed, a distributed operating system (harkening back to Microsoft's old "Cairo" project). From the SD Times piece from July 29:
"In order to efficiently distribute applications across nodes, Midori will introduce a higher-level application model that abstracts the details of physical machines and processors. The model will be consistent for both the distributed and local concurrency layers, and it is internally known as Asynchronous Promise Architecture."
It sounds from the article as though Midori, unsurprisingly, will be yet another manifestation of Software + Services, in that it will take advantage of "distributed concurrency," or cloud-computing configurations. Unlike Microsoft Research's Singularity, which is a completely managed operating system, Midori seemingly will combine managed and unmanaged elements. (Guess that's where some of Microsoft's "RedHawk" and "Sapphire" work will come into play....)
More details from the SD Times piece:
"The Midori documents indicate that the proposed OS would have a non-blocking object-oriented framework API. This would have strong notions of immutability—in the sense of objects that cannot be modified once created—and strive to foster application correctness through deep verifiability by using .NET programming languages.
"At the presentation layer, Microsoft is making a clean break from the existing Windows GUI model, where applications must update their display on one and only one thread at a time, and the associated problems that affect OS stability and make it more difficult to write multithreaded applications.
"The Midori documents indicate that the company has not decided what user interface abstractions are appropriate when applications cut across boundaries, or how to combine the best qualities of rich client applications and Web applications."
Microsoft officials have been trying to downplay the significance of Midori by constituting it as nothing but a research project. Yes, Midori is under the domain of Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer. But it is not in Microsoft Research and it is being championed by Rudder, one of Microsoft's Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy. As I've reported, Midori is considered to be in incubation, meaning it is only a matter of time until Microsoft figures out how and if to take it commercial.