Microsoft Windows 7 Gets Redesigned Core

Dennis Faas's picture

While Windows XP continues to thrive and Windows Vista fizzles, Microsoft has been busy redesigning Vista's successor, currently named Windows 7.  The new operating system is scheduled for release sometime in 2010.

ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft has created a stripped-down version of the Windows kernel named 'MinWin' for Windows 7, in attempts to reduce dependencies in Windows that have made the operating system bloated and difficult to maintain and upgrade.

Recently, Microsoft was able to create a new separate, usable core. MinWin will be at the heart of future versions of Windows Media Center, Windows Server, embedded Windows products and more.

Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut described some of the work the Microsoft Core OS team has done to build the MinWin core during a recent talk he gave at the University of Illinois. Blogger Long Zheng from clipped out 8 minutes of video from the speech by Traut and links to the full 1 hour and 6 minute clip from the University of Illinois presentation.

MinWin contains 100 files and takes 25 MB on disk compared to Vista's 5,000 files and 4GB on disk. The current MinWin kernel does not include a graphics subsystem but does include a very simple HTTP server. 200 engineers are working the core kernel and Windows Virtual technologies.

Microsoft appears to adopted a more modular approach to developing Windows. Microsoft programmers will use MinWin as the base for development and then layer on whatever is needed for a particular Windows Version.

The current Windows kernel is between twelve and fifteen years old.

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