Some of Microsoft’s latest technologies could be green shoots on a migration toward its “Midori” operating system, according to analysts who are familiar with the project.
Recent additions to the .NET Framework adhere to the concurrent programming principles outlined in the Midori documents that SD Times viewed in 2008. Silverlight and the Windows Azure platform could also be complementary to a potential release of Midori, the analysts said.
Midori is a technology incubation project that was born out of Microsoft Research’s (MSR) Singularity operating system, the tools and libraries of which are completely managed code.
Microsoft has designed Midori to be Internet-centric with an emphasis on distributed concurrent systems. It also introduces a new security model that sandboxes applications.
“Midori is an attempt to create a new foundation for the operating system that runs ‘inside the box,’ on the desktop and in the rack. As such, it’s willing to break with compatibility (or at least wall off compatibility to a virtual machine),” explained Larry O’Brien, a private consultant and author of the “Windows & .NET Watch” column for SD Times.
Microsoft may be laying a foundation for Midori in its existing development stack through languages and Silverlight as a runtime, O’Brien said. Microsoft Research is also increasingly focused on reasoning about concurrent programs, he added.
These major architectural transitions require developers to make a “conceptual leap” to a new model of programming, and to relearn how to program in an efficient manner, said Forrester Research principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond.
“We’re seeing a gulf opening up right now between serial and parallel programming; only a small minority of rocket-scientist types can actually write code that works effectively in a parallel, multicore world,” Hammond added. “I think it’s pretty clear that Midori is on the other side of that scale-out gulf. From a development point of view, those that can make the leap solidify their skills and employment opportunities for the next decade and beyond.”