Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Nov 2013 17:43 UTC

The Ars Technica article on OS/2 mentions, in passing, Workplace OS, the pie-in-the-sky successor to OS/2 IBM was working on. I found this fantastic journal article written by Brett D. Fleisch and Mark Allan A. Co, which goes into this failed project in great detail.

IBM's Microkernel, named Workplace OS microkernel, was the core components of Workplace OS, a portable successor of OS/2. The basic premise of Workplace OS work was: 1) IBM would adopt and improve the CMU Mach 3.0 microkernel for use on PDAs, the desktop, workstations, and massively parallel machines, and 2) that several operating system personalities would execute on the microkernel platform concurrently. This architecture would allow users to switch between applications written for different operating systems while IBM would also benefit by having one common platform for all product lines. The goals of the microkernel and the technical features of design are described in this paper. We also present lessons that may benefit future projects with similar goals.

Also, I get to use the IBM icon!

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RE: Interesting
by moondevil on Mon 25th Nov 2013 20:26 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
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The POSIX personality has some special rights, because you need kernel level support for fork().

But other than that they are quite independent.

According to the official documentation, Windows NT family of kernels follows a micro-kernel design, even if to the outside world it looks monolithic.

For example, there are RPC mechanisms at the kernel level that help to modularize the kernel as if it was a micro-kernel one.

Since Windows 7, there are now quite a good support for user space drivers as well.

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