Furthest Right

Peering Into The Memory Hole: MinWin and Windows 7 and 10

The last few Windows 10 updates have made it clear that most people are going to have to abandon this operating system. As usual, the corporates took a vote, and they will be pursuing the chimera of mobile computing instead of focusing on what made them successful in the first place.

While mobile computing is important, it serves as an interface for the entertainment audience: the young, the poor, and those who work such do-nothing jobs that they can screw around on their phones all day. Mobile computing is a great way to reach low-IQ people of no consequence.

In the meantime, all of the serious work is done on desktop (including laptops), while most of the serious computation is happening at the server level. The tablet trend has come and gone, and while lots of people like their Apple Watches, it remains unclear what practical use they have except for email.

Since it has gone into the memory hole, we should inspect one of the few times that Windows users showed actual enthusiasm for their operating system: the MinWin for Windows 7 discussion:

MinWin is the core of Windows, but it is not the same as Windows Server Core. If you could “cut” Windows and shuffle around some application programming interfaces (APIs) so that it would be a standalone, bootable, testable mini OS, MinWin is what it would look like. It’s the heart of Windows, organized in a way so that none of the included parts has any dependencies on anything outside of MinWin.

Russinovich described MinWin as the bottom-most part of Windows. He also called it “Cutler’s NT,” meaning the core Windows operating system as developed by Microsoft Technical Fellow Dave Cutler. MinWin is about 25 MB on disk, he said. It includes the executive subsystem, networking components and possibly file-system drivers (which sound like they are optional).

At the time, MinWin generated a great deal of interest because it offered what Windows users had wanted since the early days of WFW 3.11, a smaller and more efficient OS without the bloat:

“Whilst the presentation is not directly about Windows 7, it does contain a demonstration of MinWin – an internal project to build the most efficient Windows kernel which will in turn be used in Windows 7,” Zheng notes.

Instead, Microsoft is going in the opposite directly. Windows 10 is the first operating system I have used in a long time that routinely misses keyboard and mouse events, and the recent staggering amount of updates suggests that the new inhabitants of Microsoft are adding bloat, Android-style, to force us all to upgrade to new hardware.

Tags: , ,

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn