WinMin – Windows 7

Microsoft, breaking from it’s usual secrecy around the next version of Windows, has released some material on Channel 8 about work being done on the Kernel. Referred to as WinMin, the Kernel weighs in at just 25MB and is supposed to be used in a a variety of Windows products, desktop, server, and small form factor. The video posted, consists of Eric Traut giving a presentation with an integrated power point deck.

The presentation is primarily on Microsoft’s hypervisor and vitalization. The comments on Windows 7 don’t come until 44 minutes into the video.

Other interesting notes

  • Vista and Windows Server 2008 are the first versions of windows that are Vitalization aware
  • Admits that upgrading the OS is painful at best. Vista actually installs a new OS and tries to pull settings from XP. Could Windows 7 actually allow you to reinstall the OS without reinstalling?
  • Admits it’s embarrassing that there are un-installer products.
  • Demos of Windows 1 and 2
  • WinMin

    • 25MB Kernal
    • 40MB of memory, 7MB free.
    • HTTP Server? I hope that’s for demo’s only.

The “scheduled” release date is 2010, which is 2-3 years out (simple math FTW). I point out the 2-3 year time frame, because I think it’s significant for a couple of reasons. First, how many things got cut from Vista in the 2-3 years leading up to it (WinFS anyone?). Second, how much of what we are hearing today, will make it to the final product? Third, will I still be blogging in 2010, such that I can look back on this post and comment on it when Windows 7 gets released.

I have read comments that Vista is like WinME, and agree somewhat. Not that Vista is as bad as WinME, but that I am expecting (hoping) the next version of windows to be everything Vista was supposed to be, and then more. Along the same lines, people always seem to think that WinXP was so great, but they were comparing it to WinME. I switched to an NT based operating system with Windows 2000 and never looked back. I had a few games that wouldn’t run, but there were work around’s available. When XP was released, it wasn’t as big of a deal for me.

I’m still running XP at home, and Vista at work on my laptop I got back in March. At home, I recently reformatted, and after running Vista for 6 months, didn’t see any benefit, especially since I only had 2 GB ram (no need to go 64bit, and yes I realize there is a 64 bit XP), and do DX10 video card. Just over a month later, I’m running 4GB of ram (for no other reason then I got an extra 2GB on the cheap), and I had to go get a new video card (8800GT) to play COD4 at acceptable frame rates and resolutions. Nuts.

With the LAN party this weekend, I don’t have enough time to rebuild in time. Then again, it’s the type of late night challenge I wouldn’t mind. I’m thinking I might just image my system drive and give it a go. I still have all my notes (what to install), from the last time I rebuilt, and the idea of doing a VM based setup with my 4GBs of ram is an option.  


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