I wanted to give a follow up on a post I did about the need for a better Windows OS. I got re-interested in this topic when I read this New York Times article and this blog posting. I spent a great deal of the post talking about the recent advances in Apple’s upcoming OS, Snow Leopard, but not a whole lot of time talking about the issue at hand. There are several things that I did not touch upon during that original posting. There are also articles and links I wanted to show you that have I have discovered.
Believe it or not, I like Windows. I can see the merits of using OS X or Linux, but let’s face it, Windows is very useful and even more practical. Despite have the majority of marketshare, Windows is still teetering on the edge of disaster. Chatter on the internet suggests that Microsoft has a few things up it’s sleeve to reinvent the traditional Operating System. This article discusses a secret, post-Windows OS that many high level MS employees are currently working on. The meat of this article comes as a quote from the Microsoft 2.0 website, which I found particularly interesting:
“There’s a seemingly related (related to Singularity) project under development at Microsoft which has been hush-hush. That project, codenamed ‘Midori,’ is a new Microsoft operating-system platform that supposedly supersedes Windows. Midori is in incubation, which means it is a little closer to market than most Microsoft Research projects, but not yet close enough to be available in any kind of early preview form.
“What’s also interesting about Midori is who is running the project. One-time Gates heir-apparent Eric Rudder is heading up the effort. Midori is being incubated under Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie’s wing. ‘Everyone under him (under Rudder on Midori) is a multi-year vet, has a super fancy title, and is going back to their roots and writing code like they probably did in the old days,’ one Microsoft tipster told me.
“When and how Microsoft will roll out Midori is still a mystery. But it sounds like the company thinks the project is serious enough to dedicate a considerable amount of time/people/resources to it.”
Even though this is still speculation and rumors, I can’t help but to feel that the deluge of mediocrity that Windows has become in the past few years is almost over. It’s almost the same feeling I get before a major Steve Jobs keynote. Although the rumor mill is smaller, I still get a kick out of rumors that will probably significantly impact me down the line. Like I said in my previous post on this topic, I hope the Midori and Singularity projects don’t disappear into the clouds to never see the light of day. The world needs an OS that is built from scratch that is designed ground-up with security in mind. Some security nightmares we face today are the result of decisions made 40 years ago. The fact that we have not tried to rework the equation is embarrassing.
Look at Firefox 3. When it was released a few weeks ago, it fixed tons of problems that plauged Firefox 2. Memory leaks were addressed, security holes patched, and the visual design was reworked among other things. The Mozilla team promised extraordinary changes, and the public benefited from it. If an open source project can make that much actual and beneficial change in a product that tons of people rely on, why can’t a huge company do the very same thing. I mean, let’s be honest here, Microsoft is a big company with enough extra dollars to spend some money on nice things like research and development. As much as you might think that revenue goes to plugging holes in thier current OS offerings, lets hope some gets reverted towards new efforts.
It is my hope that this post cleans up some of the mess I left on the original post. I wanted to pin down a few things and this post helped me to accomplish that goal. Leave your comments below. Thanks for reading!