[Beowulf] small-footprint MS WIn "MinWin"

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Oct 22 10:14:56 PDT 2007

On Mon, 22 Oct 2007, Peter St. John wrote:

> This from Slashdot http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/18/236233 :
> "Some small but significant details of the next major release of Windows
> have emerged via a presentation at the University of
> Illinois<http://www.istartedsomething.com/20071019/eric-talk-demo-windows-7-minwin/>by
> Microsoft engineer Eric Traut. His presentation focuses on an internal
> project called "MinWin," designed to optimize the Windows kernel to a
> minimum footprint, and for [sic] which will be the basis for the Windows 7
> kernel."
> I thought this was interesting on account of the brief discussion a few
> months ago about the footprint of MSWin vis-a-vis clustering.

It's also interesting in other ways.  It sounds like Windows is evolving
towards an ever more Unix-like design.  If they really do create a
minimal kernel, it perforce will look and behave a lot like the linux
kernel (or the Solaris kernel, or the Mac OSX kernel, or...).  Maybe not
on the inside, although schedulers are schedulers, maybe not in the way
it manages processes or memory, but it will need to provide scheduling,
process management, and memory management, and device management.

This in turn moves their system closer to being a suitable host for VMs,
as I think the ideal towards which OS's are moving is the kernel as a VM
host, everything else as a VM guest on top of a device-independent
layer.  At least I hope we are going there.


> The link is
> http://www.istartedsomething.com.nyud.net/20071019/eric-talk-demo-windows-7-minwin/
> but
> right now that link seems to be overwhelmed.
> Peter

Robert G. Brown
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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