Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Sep 2009 23:15 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Microsoft It seems like Microsoft Research is really busy these days with research operating systems. We had Singularity, a microkernel operating system written in managed code, and late last week we were acquainted with Barrelfish, a "multikernel" system which treats a multicore system as a network of independent cores, using ideas from distributed systems. Now, we have a third contestant, and it's called Helios.
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RE: State of Singularity
by dragSidious on Tue 29th Sep 2009 04:36 UTC in reply to "State of Singularity"
dragSidious
Member since:
2009-04-17

This is not a _prototype_ operating system. Its a research one.

The difference is that with a prototype it has some chance of actually making it out out into the real world. Helios, on the other hand, has zero chance of seeing the light of day.

Microsoft will take what they learned, patent it to make sure nobody else can use those ideas, and then may or may not introduce some of the features in later versions of NT.

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Despite what people want to believe software development is a evolutionary process, not a revolutionary one.

NT has been under constant development since 1989. With userland portions dating back to the early 80's

Mac OS X has been under constant development since 1985 with the founding of Next Computer, with lots of BSD portions.

The BSDs themselves have been under 1977.

It is, in turn, based on concepts developed by original Unix that was started in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Which was based on Multics concepts developed through the 1960's and a video game called "Space Travel". Of course Linux started as a combination of the Linux kernel (started in 1991) and GNU (1984).

And Linus learned his OS development from Minix, which started as a text book example of a OS published in college OS design textbooks in 1987.

Of course Solaris is a release of System7 Unix, which is a direct descendant of the first port of Unix from PDP-11 assembly to C. And earlier Sun OS versions were BSD based.

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Microsoft NT is about the most modern OS your going to see that has any widespread success. Every since OS since then has been a commercial failure.

For years and years the best design researchers could come up with was the Microkernel. The only successful kernel of that type is the one used for QNX (started in 1980). (if OS X uses a microkernel then so does NT).

And the only reason it was successful was because the Microkernel design allowed deterministic scheduling (aka realtime), but it could not scale to being acceptable on desktops. (the message passing just had too much overhead)

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My point is, ultimately, that these things Microsoft are working on is just pure research. They are not designed to be used, are not meant to be useful, but are just playthings to try out new ideas.

If the things they create cannot be implemented in a productive manner in NT then they will never get used.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: State of Singularity
by pablo_marx on Tue 29th Sep 2009 05:04 in reply to "RE: State of Singularity"
pablo_marx Member since:
2006-02-03

Of course Solaris is a release of System7 Unix, which is a direct descendant of the first port of Unix from PDP-11 assembly to C. And earlier Sun OS versions were BSD based.

System7 unix? Do you mean System V Release 4 (SVR4)? Or UNIX V7?

Microsoft NT is about the most modern OS your going to see that has any widespread success. Every since OS since then has been a commercial failure.

Of course by your UNIX rationale, NT is really a descendent of VMS which dates back to 1975, which was a descendent of RSX-11 dating back to 1972, of course leading back to RT-11 in 1970. I'm sure some DEC aficionado can neatly tie this back to TOPS-10 or DECSYS going back to 1963/1964. Doesn't sound that much more modern than UNIX....

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: State of Singularity
by Dubhthach on Tue 29th Sep 2009 08:07 in reply to "RE[2]: State of Singularity"
Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

>>System7 unix? Do you mean System V Release 4 (SVR4)? Or UNIX V7?

Both of course as V7 is a direct ancestor of SVR4 (via System III and 32/V)

Like the way I'm a direct descendant of both my father and my great grandfather.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: State of Singularity
by dvzt on Tue 29th Sep 2009 07:40 in reply to "RE: State of Singularity"
dvzt Member since:
2008-10-23

For years and years the best design researchers could come up with was the Microkernel. The only successful kernel of that type is the one used for QNX (started in 1980).


I think Tru64 has a microkernel too.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: State of Singularity
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 29th Sep 2009 07:55 in reply to "RE: State of Singularity"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

For years and years the best design researchers could come up with was the Microkernel. The only successful kernel of that type is the one used for QNX (started in 1980). (if OS X uses a microkernel then so does NT).


Eh...

Me thinks you need to look beyond what you can run on your own desktop. I can guarantee you that there are more microkernel installations out there than there are desktop and server computers in the world.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: State of Singularity
by dragSidious on Tue 29th Sep 2009 15:04 in reply to "RE[2]: State of Singularity"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

You think that QNX is that widely used? I also forgotten that Vxworks is a Microkernel.

So ya.. a shitload of them in embedded systems.

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But having personal, first-hand experience with QNX.. they are pretty detestable things to work with and on and can't scale up very well.

Reply Parent Score: 1