Eric Traut, a Microsoft distinguished engineer, showed off the company’s new crown jewels at the University of Illinois last week.
Traut gave the first public presentation on a new kernel called MinWin that will be the basis of the next generation of Windows, debuting in 2010. He’s part of a team of 200 working on reducing the kernel.
From the story:
Traut showed off MinWin and bragged about how much leaner the microkernel is than the current core of Windows. While Vista uses 5,000 files for its 4GB core, MinWin weighs in at just 100 files and 25MB.
So instead of plastering new stuff onto the bloated kernel, Microsoft took a fresh approach and produced a tiny core that will presumably be more efficient and flexible.
The article talks about how MinWin seems tailored for virtualization, but it also sounds like it would better position Microsoft to compete with open-source software mobile devices, starter PCs and consumer electronics.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it must be a morale boost for the whole Windows engineering team to know that the foundation they’re building on is finally getting sorted out.