Microsoft Seeks Pepto-Bismol Patent
It seems that Microsoft may be searching for some relief from the pain and bloating of the general purpose operating system. A June 8, 2005 patent filing by the Redmond giant describes, among other things, the following:
QUOTE: Operating systems are available as monolithic blocks that incorporate all the above functions and often more. Purchasing these large operating systems can represent a significant portion of the cost of an overall computer system. After purchase, the user may find significant functionality available that is not required, or some functions that would be desirable that are not available.
TRANSLATION: General purpose operating systems often have lots of features that are not useful and in fact often prevent useful applications from being deployed due to conflicts.
QUOTE: The small basic kernel, may be used for simple operations and for basic application support. A user of the computer system may then have the opportunity to add specific modules supporting the functionality required for his or her particular interests. While some add-on modules may be free, others may be available for a fee or as part of a subscription.
TRANSLATION: Instead of a general purpose operating system, we think the future is about a simple hypervisor that talks to the hardware, and new applications arrive as optimized virtual appliances.
Microsoft has always been able to catch up quickly just when it seems the technology future might pass them by. It appears that they have been quietly planning for the end of the general purpose operating system for a couple of years already. Pass the Pepto Bismol and get on with the relief from the pain and bloating.