Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Microsoft's Next-Gen OS Research is Open-Source Now

Microsoft has been researching on operating systems for sometime now and manufacturers the most popular operating system in the form of Windows. But most of the research that goes into Windows is unknown to the rest of the world. Most people bash Microsoft of being very secretive and people from the open-source world often criticize Microsoft for this. But today Microsoft has done what many people believe is impossible. Microsoft has released their operating system research to be used in future as an open-source project. And the project is called Singularity.

The name Singularity does sound like some path-breaking theory in physics. In the world of operating systems, Microsoft's Singularity is sort of path-breaking. Microsoft announced Singularity about 2 years back and had started thinking about it 3 years before the announcement. After 5 years of research, today Microsoft released Singularity with source-code to codeplex, which is Microsoft's open-source community repository.

Singularity in theory looks to be very promising. It uses a microkernel architecture, which means the kernel is really very small and contains only very few services/managers. There was much long debate between Minix Vs Linux on microkernel Vs monolithic kernel without result. I side with Minix and this with PCs getting faster we need more stability than performance. But I guess that is part of a different discussion altogether. The following image shows the architecture of Singularity OS.


I have just finished downloading the Singularity RDK (Research Development Kit) from here, and will be installing it on Virtual PC.

No comments: