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MinWin Core: 25MB on Disk and 100 Files

On October 13th at the University of Illinois Eric Traut first showed a version of Windows code-named Windows 7.  In the demonstration Eric allocated 40MB of RAM to the virtual machine and ran the stripped down operating system with 10 active processes taking up only about 33MB of RAM.   

The actual kernel of the new Windows version is claimed to be about 4MB in size.  Further reductions included for a minimal install:

  • 100 Files
  • 25MB in disk utilization
  • no graphical user interface
  • minimal http server
  • boot time of less than 20 seconds

When looking at statistics like this, speculation is rampant.  A common theory is that Microsoft is returning a single code base, but no official announcement has been made to date.  At present Microsoft maintains several versions of Windows with separate kernels:

  • Windows Server 2008 / Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003 / R2 / XP / XPe
  • Windows Server 2000
  • WinCE 4.x / PPC OS / Smartphone OS
  • WinCE 5 / Windows Mobile 5
  • WinCE 6 / Windows Mobile 6

A return to a single kernel code base would seem to be a logical next step.  Especially given the work being done in the Server and Tools division on the Phoenix project and a move to a single code generation platform. 

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