The Road to Cairo?

It’s been clear for quite some time that Microsoft would at some point like to offer an OS in managed code (remember WinFX and the managed API PDC statements?). Couple this view with recent “cloud” thoughts, and you can see that one of Microsoft’s future goals is a distributed cloud managed OS. Microsoft Research has been actively rolling down this road with a number of initiatives – Singularity, CHESS and Dryad – have a look at slide 35. Midori may or may not be the product that we see in a few years that provides this managed stack.

One of the problems as I understand it with the Windows OS today is its need to be backwards compatible. One though I had after seeing MinWin was that Microsoft should release MinWin as essentially a VM OS (25Mb), which by default hosts Windows Vista and XP. Singularity/Midori should be the third hosted OS, which would offer the first 100% Microsoft managed OS and move .NET to the next paradigm. Using MinWin avoids the need to pollute Midori, thereby allowing a clean future generation OS to evolve, yet maintaining Microsoft’s backward compatibility for legacy applications.

Midori in summary could possible be Microsoft’s latest attempt to delivery Cairo. However, based on previous attempts to delivery Cairo, at this stage its unclear if we will ever actually see Singularity/Midori outside of the incubator stage. Maybe Microsoft needs to put its research division at the heart of the company to keep innovation alive – we don’t want another WinFS….


~ by mdavey on July 15, 2008.

5 Responses to “The Road to Cairo?”

  1. A thought occurs to me – I wonder if Midori might actually see the first light of day in Live Mesh. Take a look at some of the features of Live Mesh and the PDC 08 sessions like “Live Platform: Mesh Services Architecture Deep Dive” at or even the name MOE, Mesh Operating Environment and its not a very big jump to imagine that a version of Singularity/Midori might be deployed as the “OS” for hosted Mesh Applications that would run “in the cloud”. I have not done a full survey of Singularity features but from what do know, it would seem an “OS” designed along those lines would be good fit for hosting applications in a Live Mesh type environment. In addition it would provide MS an answer to Goggle Apps and Amazon EC2.

    Just a thought.

  2. Maybe, but MOE as described here doesn’t sound like it:

  3. You are correct that the currently available description does not contain that. However I still believe that might be a very likely place for Singularity/Midori to appear. Posts like which while not admitting anything does leave the option open makes me think it is a strong option.

  4. You all seemed to have lost the plot or any sense of reality.

    First of all not even one product apart from silly PowerShell is ‘fully’ managed/manager/manageriality.. only few other things use it and they are not isolated from native code.

    In 15 years of Java, there has been no more stupid idea than managed OS.

    Put lightly, you would experience such a bloated mess it would scale worse than that Silverlight or WPF app starting x 10 million. It does not matter if you preJIT it whatever, the OO model doesn’t scale and .NET was made as OO runtime / Java.

    Just look at the state of your apps without anything else.. That is enough, but try and imagine everything was managed around you. Your machine would not get past the logon.


  5. Oh, sure, MS will let you have the source to their core product so you can Reflect it..

    Pile of nonsense .NET evangelist keep propagating and believing.

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