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Windows Is Dead – Long Live Midori? 695

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-midori-linux? dept.
parvenu74 writes "A story from Infoworld is suggesting that the days of Windows are numbered and that Microsoft is preparing a web-based operating system code-named Midori as a successor. Midori is reported to be an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, an all-managed code microkernel OS which leverages a technology called software isolated processes (SIPs) to overcome the traditional inter-thread communications issues of microkernel OSes."
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Windows Is Dead – Long Live Midori?

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  • Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kalpol (714519) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:23PM (#24404691) Homepage
    web-based == subscription model.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:28PM (#24404793) Homepage

      web-based == subscription model.

      And quite pointless with people moving to mobile devices instead of desktops. While mobile Internet connections are increasing in availability and bandwidth, they are not mainstream enough to allow Windows to be completely replaced by the model.

      • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:37PM (#24404989) Homepage
        Even if high speed wireless internet access was as wide spread as cellphone access, would that still be enough? There are enough dead zones, that many people would not be able to access their computer at all, which is unacceptable. Also, people seem to forget that the wireless is pretty limited. It works well for now, when people are just downloading email, or browsing a few websites, but I think the amount of bandwidth to run (what would amount to) a remote desktop connection, multiplied by the number of people using windows, would quickly overload any kind of wireless setup we could get. Obviously not everybody would have to use wireless connections, but if everybody who was currently using their desktop on wireless started using a remote desktop on wireless, the system would undergo a lot of strain.
    • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:36PM (#24404969) Journal

      web-based == man in the middle attacks

      Can you imagine a MITM on your OS?
      Bad guys would no longer need physical access to your box,
      Only access to your network.

    • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#24405141) Journal

      How does one have a web-based operating system anyway? If you're running your OS inside a web browser, what is the web browser running on? Is it just turtles all the way down?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:19PM (#24405861)

        # ln -s /usr/bin/firefox /sbin/init

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:41PM (#24406293)
        I guess theoretically you could build a BIOS that automatically connected to the net and downloaded your OS at every bootup. But that would be about the dumbest, most inefficient, and most laughably bandwidth-intensive computer setup I can possibly imagine.
      • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

        by commodoresloat (172735) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:48PM (#24406423)

        If you're running your OS inside a web browser, what is the web browser running on?

        emacs, of course.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sxltrex (198448)

      If that's true all I have to say is:

      Midori's sour.

      Thanks, I'm here all week!

  • TLA conflict (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:23PM (#24404705) Homepage
    There is a Three Letter Acronym conflict with SIP as SIP already means Session Initiation Protocol [wikipedia.org].
  • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:24PM (#24404709)

    Personally I will wait to see what netcraft has to say about that.

  • Thin Client? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:24PM (#24404725) Homepage
    Remind me again how this differs from a Thin Client?
    • by ninjapiratemonkey (968710) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:29PM (#24404819)
      Midori is going to be coded to crash at least once every 24 hours to ease regular Windows users into this "new" technology. Other than that, it's the same.
      • Re:Thin Client? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:21PM (#24405919) Homepage

        Actually midori works great. I have hacked on it for over 3 years now.

        http://midori.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

        It has been a embedded linux distro that Linus himself helped form for nearly 5 years now...

        I see that microsoft has even started stealing other names, or they are fully embracing linux and OSS finally.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Akaihiryuu (786040)
      It doesn't...they are describing a thin client. While I agree that thin clients are nice in a lot of situations, there is no way in hell I would use a thin client as my primary OS. And I will not use a thin client at all (well, outside of a corporate/work environment anyway) unless *I* control the server for it. If I want to put a couple thin client terminals around my house that run off my Linux server, fine. I'm curious how they think a thin client will work as a primary OS anyway. It won't...you hav
      • Re:Thin Client? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:46PM (#24405189)

        It seems that every ten years, someone re-invents the thin client.

        First it was dumb terminals connected to a mainframe, then to a serial port box so one can connect to a UNIX box.
        Then came XStations which used various (direct, indirect, broadcast) forms of XDMCP to find a host to download microcode and run apps from.
        Then, it was JavaStations where people talked about fast broadband access to stuff on the ISP's server, and not to worry about all their private documents being stored offsite.

        This just seems like more of the same, perhaps an offshoot of cloud computing. It will work for a couple niches here and there, but as a whole, Net based operating systems will fail, as people want to keep their stuff private on their own systems.

        Same disadvantages apply. Security of stored files for example -- I trust my external TrueCrypt encrypted drive that uses both a long passphrase and a set of keyfiles a lot more to securely store my Word documents than I do some random ISP's computer.

  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:26PM (#24404743) Journal
    what am I going to do with all of that fancy hardware I bought to run Vista?
  • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:26PM (#24404757) Homepage
    A link to the print version in TFS? This cannot be slashdot... damn DNS must have been poisoned!
  • by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:28PM (#24404789) Homepage Journal

    ... that it doesn't suck! Linux still needs competition to keep us on our toes!

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkstorm (6880) <lorddarkstorm@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:28PM (#24404805)

    I don't get it, why would I want to trust Microsoft, or anyone, with all my files?

    I think I like the current model, I buy a computer and it is mine, I can put whatever I want on it, and I can use it with or without the internet.

    I guess when my unreliable comcast cable modem drops offline I guess that means a worthless terminal till it comes back up. This is an improvement....how?

  • by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:29PM (#24404825) Journal

    Midori Linux from Transmeta - Linus T. [sourceforge.net]

    Guess MS will just have to change the name....

  • by Channard (693317) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:30PM (#24404833) Journal
    I hope this is the first of many operating systems to be named after porn stars. [wikipedia.org]
  • by loconet (415875) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:31PM (#24404843) Homepage

    They can't even manage to get out a decent web based mail service and they want to have a whole OS on the web? Really?

    I'm not too familiar with MS's services on the web but is there one that displays MS's competency on a web environment?

  • by jgarra23 (1109651) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:34PM (#24404909)

    I can't imagine my mom wanting to shell out money over and over to Microsoft a la subscription just to play solitaire, check her email and play flash games, can you envision your parents wanting to do this?

    Furthermore, I can't imagine my mom wanting to bother trying to set up wireless in ANY Linux distro, can you envision your grandparents doing so? My mom will likely buy an Apple, my sister & her husband will buy an Apple, everyone I know will by one instead of wanting to put up with another monthly bill. Really. Steve Jobs marketing machine will win this one.

  • by Dracos (107777) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:37PM (#24404979)

    If MS kills Windows as we know it an replaces it with Midori, it'll take at least 5 years to happen, and Midori will still be called Windows.

    MS is a slow, lumbering marketing company, not a fast, agile technology company. They'll never walk away from the Windows brand.

  • by headkase (533448) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:37PM (#24404993)
    The medium is the message as some wise guy once put it. It makes sense that in the future Information will also encapsulate the functionality to manipulate it and these units will zip around the network on demand. It is a paradigm shift in that monolithic applications with a bagillion features will be obsolete - the units will contain just enough functionality to manipulate them and mash them together. The OS in this role sinks to the level of what the BIOS is today - essential but unnoticed.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:38PM (#24405017)
    The Eee and its ilk have shown that people are willing to buy Windowsless boxes, which is an affront to Microsoft's business model. You have to wonder if Midori is a "plan B" to allow them to continue to get revenue from Linux users. Alan, Bob and Clarence may well be willing to pay $10 a month for "Windows access" on their Eees if it lets them use Office, and this way Microsoft have a guaranteed revenue stream whatever OS people actually buy with their machine. Especially if it's agressively marketed and bundled.
  • Not Web Based (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#24405131)

    Midori will *not* be "web based", whatever the hell that means.

    Being "internet centric" and connected to "the cloud" is not the same has being web based.

    Midori is being designed in such a way that components of the OS communicate with each other in a location independent manner. API calls to a local machine are no different than API calls to a remote machine. These calls will also be "message based" (there are lots of ways to interpret that) and be transactional in nature.

    Above these kinds of low level things, there will be a much tighter and more integrated connection to the network. Your profile will roam with you no matter where you are using P2P style communications similar to how Live Mesh works, although supported by core OS components instead of via RSS synchronization.

    So if your idea of a "web based" OS is like what I've described above, then yes... it's web based.

    But if you're thinking about a subscription-based model where a user must boot their OS "from the web" like a dumb terminal, then you're way off.

    Lastly, this thing is at least 7 to 10 years off. Windows 7 will ship sometime next year (or perhaps early in 2010), and Midori isn't even out of MS Research yet. If we saw something like this before Windows 8 / 2015, I'd be damn surprised.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by madman101 (571954)
      This is Slashdot. Don't confuse the issue with facts...
    • Re:Not Web Based (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pohl (872) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @04:20PM (#24408673) Homepage

      Midori is being designed in such a way that components of the OS communicate with each other in a location independent manner. API calls to a local machine are no different than API calls to a remote machine.

      This strikes me as being similar to a design goal shared by Plan 9 [wikipedia.org], and its spiritual descendant Inferno [wikipedia.org], both of which were based around the 9P [wikipedia.org] protocol.

  • by c0d3r (156687) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#24405133) Homepage Journal

    This probably means that M$ is going to add a bunch of proprietaries to Javascript through IE and start adding language features to make a proprietary platform. Even so more, probably access to the win32 api via javascript. Even more so, probably JITed c#, wait.. wasn't java supposed to do this?

  • by _Knots (165356) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#24405143)

    This is almost exactly the same thing, in spirit at least, as Inferno (http://www.vitanuova.com/inferno/), which started in 1995 and has been under continuous development since. Managed kernel, runs on real hardware, uses software isolation between managed threads... oh, and has code flying, for real, right now. :)

  • Don't Kid Yourself (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smackenzie (912024) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:48PM (#24405247)
    To believe for a moment that the "days of Windows is numbered" is idiotic. Consider a few points:

    1. The PC continues to be a dominant gaming platform which will never fly with a thin client OS or internet OS.

    2. 9 out of 10 (my guess, might be higher) businesses out there will never consider an OS that is entirely dependent on a working internet connection. (And don't counter with "well, what about web services companies?" I mean top to bottom activities in a single company such as accounting, HR, project management, security services, legal, design, PR, etc.)

    3. There will be a relative correlation between productivity and your internet speed. Not exciting.

    4. Most of us would like to remain reasonably productive in environments where there is no internet connection (planes, trains, parks, beach, over seas, etc.)

    5. People seem to forget that the browsers themselves as well as many of the browser features that they depend on (Flash, Movies, ActiveX, PDF, Java) all depend on some version of an OS with a "more than thin client and more than kernal" layer to begin with...

    Singularity OS is a smart move (managed code, new process security measures). And you'll see a MAJOR uptick in SaaS and "cloud computing" (whatever the hell that means these days) from Microsoft, but we will not be rid of a client OS from Microsoft in this lifetime.
  • Trivia ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob-taro (996889) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @12:49PM (#24405275)

    "Midori" is Japanese for "green". It is also a common female first name.

    I don't know how either would apply to an OS, unless it has some connection to this [wikipedia.org].

  • For a significant number of people Windows is a hidden cost in the total price of buying a computer. They aren't used to having to pay for their OS directly and suddenly having to do so may prove to be a psychological barrier to a lot of them. Just something to consider.

  • 404 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:03PM (#24405539)
    Desktop not found...
  • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:14PM (#24405755)

    "A story from Infoworld is suggesting that the days of Windows are numbered and that Microsoft is preparing a web-based operating system code-named Midori as a successor. Midori is reported to be an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, an all-managed code microkernel OS which leverages a technology called software isolated processes (SIPs) to overcome the traditional inter-thread communications issues of microkernel OSes."

    "Infoworld": +10
    "days of Windows are numbered": +20
    "web-based": +7
    "code-named": +4
    "microkernel": +4
    "leverages" +8
    "a technology called ..." + 10
    "overcome": +7
    "traditional": +5
    "communications issues": +10

    An 85 on the bullshit meter. Impressive!

  • With the ability today to run an OS, applications -- and even an entire PC desktop of applications -- in a virtual container using a hypervisor, the need to have the OS and applications installed natively on a PC is becoming less and less, said Brian Madden, an independent technology analyst.

    Brian Madden is either talking about something else, or he's confused by references to hypervisors elsewhere. Midori will run under Hypervisors... but as one possible deployment of the OS, not as an essential part of the system. Singularity is more like ".NET" taken to the next level, with the entire OS running without hardware memory protection (let alone hypervisors), so it can run anywhere... even as a module inside another application... without any specific hardware support.

  • by NittanyTuring (936113) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:20PM (#24405889)
    ...but that it is based on a new programming model. Many ideas are coming from the programming languages research community. All code will be type-safe and memory-safe. Interaction with the OS and other processes will make much more use of immutable data structures. Concurrency will be pervasive. It will be like one giant Erlang environment.
  • by shdowhawk (940841) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:29PM (#24406065)

    I mention America specifically as a generic example that everyone understands for one reason. "Unlimited Internet Bandwidth". This type of a model (even if it is a model where MOST of the OS is on current hardware but then randomly checks the internet for it's main "modular" pieces, vs having it all on the Hard Drive as we current do) cannot work well because other countries actually have to pay for speicifc amounts of bandwidth.

    And even now, I've read random articles talking about ISPs (in america) which are considering moving to the "Pay for Bandwidth Tiers" models. WTF is the point of getting an OS that eats up all of your bandwidth just to stay turned on and be running a screen saver? It would need to randomly connect out and update things after all...

    Some might argue that this is already being done, and that "caching" would solve the problem ... except that caching would negate the whole purpose of an online-OS (it needs to always have the latest thing to work well). Currently windows ALREADY connects out and randomly checks things and uses bandwidth, but it's NOT downloading entire modules as something like that would require.

    Sorry, but if I lived somewhere with Pay-As-You-Go internet (I'm considering moving to Australia) I sure as hell wouldn't pay more money to an ISP on a monthly basis just so that I can use the "latest and greatest" windows.

  • Vaporware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsmith (90057) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @01:37PM (#24406225) Homepage

    Anyone remember Cairo? ;-)

  • by lelitsch (31136) on Wednesday July 30, 2008 @02:31PM (#24407093)

    Motoko Kusanagi is going to kick Midori's ass.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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