Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Aug 2006 16:11 UTC
Microsoft MSDN's Channel 9 has two videos in their 'Going Deep' series which dive, well, deeper into Singularity, the operating system in development at Microsoft's research department. The first of the two is about, among other things, Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). The second of the two actually shows Singularity in action.
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RE[2]: R&D
by grayrest on Sat 19th Aug 2006 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: R&D"
grayrest
Member since:
2006-03-14

But it isn't [a microkernel]. Although Singularity has a really small surface area of trusted code, lots of managed code lives in kernelspace to avoid the overhead of IPC and context switches.

Well technically, all the code in the system lives in kernel space and runs at Ring 0. That they can do this and still claim security is, by my understanding, the primary finding of the project.

If you watch the older videos, IPC between processes is basically passing a pointer to a page in memory. There is no context switch unless you deliberately set one up in hardware (what a good chunk of this video is about). My impression is that the processes in Singularity are closer to the weight of threads that don't share memory (erlang processes would be a good example).

I'm pretty sure this research leans more towards the applied than the theoretical. It was started when MS began their big security push and the goal seems to be making the most robust OS possible and then showing it can be made into a workable production system. They occasionally do less applied stuff, but I always get the impression that "windows longhorn/vista+2" is the target for the project.

Edited 2006-08-19 20:16

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