While newly minted Windows head Steven Sinofsky continues to play his cards close to his chest, we’re seeing signs that Microsoft is rethinking its monolithic approach to not only the mass-market Windows operating system but the entire family of Windows products from servers down to CE-based embedded devices. First up is a streamlined microkernel codenamed MinWin, around which a re-engineered Windows line will be built. Described as ‘the Windows 7 source-code base’, in reference to the successor to Windows Vista which is slated for a 2010 release, MinWin strips back the current NT-based kernel to the barest of bare metal. Ars Technica has more, including a one hour video presentation [.wmv] about MinWin. Sassy quote of the day by Microsoft kernel engineer Eric Traut: “A lot of people think of Windows as this really large bloated operating system, and that may be a fair characterisation, I have to admit.” My take: Maybe this will be closer to reality after all?