Rumours were floating around the web this week that Microsoft is working on a potential Internet-centric successor to Windows called Midori. This operating system will be a componentized, non-Windows OS that will take advantage of technologies not available when Windows first was conceived.
That report paints Midori as an Internet-centric OS, based on the idea of connected systems, that largely eliminates the dependencies between local applications and the hardware they run on that exist with a typical OS today.
The report claims Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, which creates "software-isolated processes" to reduce the dependencies between individual applications, and between the applications and the OS itself.
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.
"Why do you need it?" he said. "Now we have hypervisors everywhere."
Madden suggested that a future OS could actually be a hypervisor itself, with virtual containers of applications running on top of it that can be transferred easily to other devices because they don't have client-side dependencies to each other.
And while he has no information about Midori beyond the published reports, he said descriptions of it as an Internet-centric system that provides an overall "connectedness" between applications and devices makes sense for the future of cloud computing and on-demand services. Microsoft likely recognizes the need for this even if the actual technology is still five or more years out, Madden said.
"They're preparing for the day when people realize we don't need Windows anymore" and thinking about what they will do to remain relevant, he said.