Monday, 04 Aug, 2008 Technology
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The End of Windows is Close, So is the Beginning of Midori

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The software giant, Microsoft, started working on a new research project, which aims towards developing new software meant to replace Windows. The new software will be called Midori and it will be much different from the company previous programs.

Specialists see Microsoft's Midori as the company's answer to competitors who apply "virtualization" as a mean to solving a lot of issues within contemporary computing.

After analyzing the internal documents of the software company, which characterize the technology, Software Development Times unveiled new details of Midori in addition to the one that has been already known.

"If you think about how an operating system is loaded, it's loaded onto a hard disk physically located on that machine. The operating system is tied very tightly to that hardware" said Dave Austin, European director of products at Citrix.

Being dependent on hardware Windows might face opposition from more contemporary ways of working, where people are extremely mobile in using different devices to get different information.

In response to BBC's question regarding Midori, Microsoft mentioned in a statement: "Midori is one of many incubation projects underway at Microsoft. It's simply a matter of being too early in the incubation to talk about it."

The company's new software is seen as a way to catch up on the work on virtualization, which is used in the broader computer industry.

Installing different applications on a single computer led to various issued when the machine required updating or a certain security patch to be installed. Companies managed to cut the numbers of computers used and receive more from them after placing virtual servers on a single physical box.

"The real savings are around physical management of the devices and associated licensing. Physically, there is less tin to manage," said Darren Brown, the head of data center at Avanade, a consulting company.

According to Mr Brown, in case one physical server stops working, the virtualized application can be shifted to a separate computer with no trouble.

"The same benefits apply to the PC. Within the Microsoft environment, we have struggled for years with applications that are written so poorly that they will not work with others. Virtualizing this gives you a couple of new ways to tackle those traditional problems," outlined Brown.

A virtual machine represents a software duplicate of a computer featuring operating system and associated software.

"On the desktop we are seeing people place great value in being able to abstract the desktop from actual physical hardware," said Dan Chu, vice president of emerging products and markets at virtualization expert VMWare.

"People take their application, the operating system they want to run it against, package it up along with policy and security they want and use that as a virtual client," said Mr Chu.

The idea behind Microsoft's new software is to develop a lightweight portable OS which would easily be mated to lots of various applications.

Michael Silver, research vice president at Gartner, mentioned that the development of Microsoft's Midori represented a sensible step for the company.

"The value of Microsoft Windows, of what that product is today, will diminish as more applications move to the web and Microsoft needs to edge out in front of that. I would be surprised if there was definitive evidence that nothing like this was not kicking around," he said.

One of the major problems that the company has to face is linked with retiring Windows and re-arranging its business to cope.

"Eighty percent of Windows sales are made when a new PC is sold. That's a huge amount of money for them that they do not have to go out and get. If Windows ends up being less important over time as applications become more OS agnostic where will Microsoft make its money?" he asked.

Source: BBC News

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