With the widening use of computers in today’s world, the need for updated and compatible computer applications especially operating systems continue to grow in order to meet the increasing variety of computer use as well as the technological demands of both the home and the world place. Software giant Microsoft has pioneered the creation of computer system Windows which is the most widely used commercial operating system used today. But the challenge never seems to stop for Microsoft.

In a talk delivered recently at the University of Illinois, Eric Traut, one of Microsoft’s operating system design engineers unveiled the next step to the evolution of the Windows core. He conducted an interesting demo of what the next version of the popular operating system would look like. Assisted by a team of about 200 computer engineers, he developed innovations in many of Windows’ key features such as virtualization technology like Virtual PC and Virtual Server, boot sequence, memory management, and core kernel scheduling. Although the development of the newest Windows package is yet a continuing effort, Traut managed to make a demo of how the next Windows would improve current versions of the computer operating system program and integrate recent computer technology such as multiple CPU cores, virtual machine technology and other enhancements.

Codenamed Windows 7, the soon-to-be newest version encapsulates Microsoft’s determination to integrate recent advancements in computer technology. Its codename is derived from the numbers of the Microsoft’s internal operating system: the first of which is Windows NT, Windows 3.1, the “Classic” Windows or Windows 92, Windows NT 5 or Windows 2000, Windows NT 5.1 or Windows XP and Windows NT 6 or Windows Vista. You can actually check the “NT number” of the Windows version that you are using by typing “winver” at the command prompt on any of these operating systems.

During the demo at the University of Illinois, Traut showed a stripped-down version of Windows 7 dubbed “MinWin” that showed only the core kernel and demonstrated how Windows NT running “naked” so to speak, without the interface to dress itself but only as a simple web server that would show simple HTML pages, some of which illustrated the task list and properties of the “MinWin” demo. During the demo, Traut showed how the different tasks running, most of which are familiar to computer users such as smss.exe, csrss.exe, and svchost.exe were all there, plus the mini web server httpsrv.exe. Using Virtual PC, Traut managed to demonstrate how Windows 7 runs and its systems requirements such as 25MB on disk (compare with 14GB for a full Vista install) and 40MB of RAM.

However, Windows NT is yet an on-going development. More importantly, it allowed the software developers at Microsoft to address the problems in Windows OS and enabled them to make the necessary improvements in the core and virtual machine technology without risking backwards compatibility and resource management. As a result, it became possible to correct improve performance and maximize the use of higher level of computer hardware technology but still being able to run across varying versions of Windows. Microsoft believes that with these improvements the power of computer technology will continue to increase and improve the core of the operating system and other server applications. Truly, Windows NT 7 is an idea whose time has come.