It’s rare that anyone at Microsoft talks publicly about Windows 7, the next version of Windows. It’s even rarer that anyone provides actual information about what might be inside the operating system, which is still in the planning stages.
However, Microsoft has posted a video of a recent university lecture given by Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut in which he talks about, among other things, a new, slimmed down kernel known as MinWin that was created as part of the Windows 7 development process.
The kernel, which lacks Vista’s bells and whistles or even a graphics system at all, takes up just 25MB on disk as compared with 4GB that the full Windows Vista takes up. And while people would need far more than MinWin to run even a basic Web server, Traut said it shows that Windows, at its heart, does not have to be a monster resource hog.
“That’s kind of proof that there is actually a nice little core inside of Windows,” Traut said. “A lot of people think of Windows as this really large, bloated operating system and that’s maybe a fair characterization, I have to admit. It is large. It contains a lot of stuff in it, but at its core, the kernel and the components that make up the very core of the operating system actually are pretty streamlined.”
Traut stressed that MinWin, though it uses the Windows 7 code base, probably won’t be used on its own.