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July 30, 2008

Microsoft documents reveal Midori

Posted by David Hunter at 10:21 AM ET.

Midori David Worthington of the SD Times has gotten hold of some Microsoft documents describing Midori. an adtech operating system being developed under Eric Rudder Senior Vice President, Technical Strategy:

Microsoft is incubating a componentized non-Windows operating system known as Midori, which is being architected from the ground up to tackle challenges that Redmond has determined cannot be met by simply evolving its existing technology.

SD Times has viewed internal Microsoft documents that outline Midori’s proposed design, which is Internet-centric and predicated on the prevalence of connected systems.

Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research’s Singularity operating system, the tools and libraries of which are completely managed code. Midori is designed to run directly on native hardware (x86, x64 and ARM), be hosted on the Windows Hyper-V hypervisor, or even be hosted by a Windows process.

According to published reports, Eric Rudder, senior vice president for technical strategy at Microsoft and an alumnus of Bill Gates’ technical staff, is heading up the effort. Rudder served as senior vice president of Microsoft’s Servers and Tools group until 2005. A Microsoft spokesperson refused comment.

So is Midori Microsoft’s post-Windows operating system? The documents do not say and there is many a slip between adtech and product, but it is nonetheless interesting to see what Microsoft is working on.

In a nutshell, Midori is a clean break from Windows with a modular, componentized design exploiting connectivity where applications are composed of pieces that could reside on a multitude of devices in multiple locations. For the end user there would be a brand new GUI with applications "created using .NET languages that will be compiled to native code using the Bartok compiler and runtime system, which is presently a Microsoft Search project."

There’s much more there, but while all this sounds swell if you an operating system guru starting with a blank sheet of paper, what about Microsoft’s often dilatory and fractious crowd of partners in the Windows ecosystem with their host of legacy Windows applications and device drivers?  Lip service is paid to providing "options for Midori applications to co-exist with and interoperate with existing Windows applications, as well as to provide a migration path" and Worthington plans two more articles based on the documents, one of which is on this very topic.

Still, it was the relatively minor changes in Vista coupled with partner sluggishness that has led to most of Vista’s bad reputation and this promises to be many orders of magnitude worse. Ah, but it’s a grand dream.

Filed under Eric Rudder, Executives, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, Midori

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September 20, 2005

Big Microsoft Reorg!

Posted by David Hunter at 3:39 PM ET.

Press Release:

CEO Ballmer appoints presidents of three core divisions; Allchin announces retirement plan.

Sept. 20, 2005 — In order to drive greater agility in the execution of its software and services strategy, Microsoft Corp. today announced a realignment of the company into three newly formed divisions, each of which will be led by its own president. The Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division will be led by Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin as co-presidents; Jeff Raikes has been named president of the Microsoft Business Division; and Robbie Bach has been named as president of Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division. In addition, the company said Ray Ozzie will expand his role as chief technical officer by assuming responsibility for helping drive its software-based services strategy and execution across all three divisions.

The company also announced that Allchin plans to retire at the end of calendar year 2006 following the commercial availability of Windows Vista™, the next-generation Microsoft® Windows® operating system.

Whichever comes last, presumably.

Johnson will succeed Allchin, taking ownership of the Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division, which comprises Windows Client, Server and Tools, and MSN®.

Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Server and Tools, will be taking on a new role working directly for Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect. Rudder will focus on some of the company’s key advanced development efforts as well as overall technical strategy. Rudder will transition into his new role following the launch of Visual Studio® and SQL Server™ 2005 later this year.

The Information Worker business and Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) will combine to form the Microsoft Business Division, with Doug Burgum, senior vice president, reporting to Raikes.

The new Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, which combines the current Home and Entertainment Division with the current Mobile and Embedded Devices Division, will consolidate Microsoft’s industry engagement around devices to deliver even richer and more relevant scenarios for individuals at work, at home and when they’re mobile. It will also bring more focus to the company’s efforts in entertainment and related devices and services. Accordingly, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s Mobile and Embedded Devices Division, Pieter Knook, will report to Bach.

Pardon my skepticism, but reorganizations rarely make things better and this one seems to merely insert another layer of management. I did, however, find interesting the inclusion of MSN with Client and Server and Tools. Sounds like Web 2.0!

Filed under Doug Burgum, Eric Rudder, Executives, General Business, Jeff Raikes, Jim Allchin, Kevin Johnson, Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach, Steve Ballmer

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