Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Oct 2007 13:48 UTC
Windows Earlier today, OSNews ran a story on a presentation held by Microsoft's Eric Traut, the man responsible for the 200 or so kernel and virtualisation engineers working at the company. Eric Traut is also the man who wrote the binary translation engine for in the earlier PowerPC versions of VirtualPC (interestingly, this engine is now used to run XBox 1 [x86] games on the XBox 360 [PowerPC]) - in other words, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to kernel engineering and virtualisation. His presentation was a very interesting thing to watch, and it offered a little bit more insight into Windows 7, the codename for the successor to Windows Vista, planned for 2010.
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RE[5]: This isnt new
by joshv on Wed 24th Oct 2007 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This isnt new"
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

"It isn't a matter of how agile the code is. It's a matter of how much the code itself can take change. Windows, due to quite a lot of reasons (e.g. backward compatibility, competition stifling, incomplete and undocumented APIs, bugs, etc.), is a monolithic code base that is not very easy to change. Revising it, refactoring it is not going to help. The only way you solve that is by starting over. "

The very fact of Microsoft's existence, and spectacular stock valuation proves this point utterly and completely false. They've made built an extremely successful business around never starting over from square one.

The past few decades are littered with the carcasses of companies that were stupid enough to think they could start from scratch. In the mean time, Microsoft acquired code they didn't have, and incrementally improved the code they did. We've come from DOS, all the way to Vista, and at no point along the way did MS ever start from scratch. I don't expect them to any time soon.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: This isnt new
by TemporalBeing on Thu 25th Oct 2007 02:14 in reply to "RE[5]: This isnt new"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

The very fact of Microsoft's existence, and spectacular stock valuation proves this point utterly and completely false. They've made built an extremely successful business around never starting over from square one.

I would hardly call their stock spectacular. It moved high in the bubble just like all the others. Since the bubble is has sat flat due to their inability to produce products and deliver on their primary programs in a timely manner. It took them 5 years (and two development cycles since they restarted the development 2.5 years into it) to deliver Vista and Windows 2008.

The fact is that Windows has become a monolith that they can no longer develop the way they have been, and it is causing them headaches. They're producing products like Windows Server Core, projects like MinWin and others in order to get the code to manageable state so that they can even begin to compete.

So, yes - they are very likely to do so very soon. They've did it in the past with WinNT, which was a brand new, from scratch code base that they later (WinXP) merged their crap code and legacy support into. Win2k and earlier did not run their DOS based programs and vendors had to typically support two different code bases for products to run on both the WinNT line and the DOS/Win9x/WinME line.

They can do it, and they will. Otherwise, it will be the end of them. Oddly enough, this is pretty much what all the commentators are saying of Microsoft and Windows. They will likely choose to use isolated app-centric VM's to manage legacy programs but they will have to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: This isnt new
by joshv on Mon 29th Oct 2007 19:29 in reply to "RE[6]: This isnt new"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

NT wasn't exactly written from scratch. It's API was an extension of the pre-existing Windows API, and it's design borrowed heavily from VMS. Much of the NT design/development team came from Digital, including Dave Cutler, one of VMS's chief designers.

Reply Parent Score: 1