Extracts from an old BBC article: Microsoft & Midorihttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7540282.stmPrecis:Microsoft has kicked off a research project to create software that will take over when it retires Windows. Centred on the internet, Midori aims to uncouple its software from the hardware it runs on.Midori is widely seen as an ambitious attempt by Microsoft to catch up on the work on virtualisation being undertaken in the wider computer industry. When asked about Midori by BBC News, Microsoft issued a statement that said: "Midori is one of many incubation projects underway at Microsoft. It's simply a matter of being too early in the incubation to talk about it." Darren Brown, data centre lead at consulting firm Avanade, said virtualisation had first established itself in data centres among companies with huge numbers of servers to manage. The real savings are around physical management of the devices and associated licensing, he said. Physically, there is less tin to manage. Virtualising gives you a couple of new ways to tackle the traditional Windows problems: applications written so poorly that they will not work with other hardware. Many companies were still using very old applications that existing operating systems would not run, he said. By putting a virtual machine on a PC, those older programs can be kept going.Dan Chu, vice president of emerging products and markets at virtualisation specialist VMWare:In such virtual machines, the core of the operating system can be very small and easy to transfer to different devices. This, many believe, is the idea behind Midori - to create a lightweight portable operating system that can easily be mated to many different applications. Microsoft's licensing terms for Windows currently prohibited it acting this way within a virtual appliance, said Mr Chu. Michael Silver, research vice president at Gartner, said the development of Midori was a sensible step for Microsoft. "The value of Microsoft Windows, of what that product is today, will diminish as more applications move to the web and Microsoft needs to edge out in front of that," he said. The big problem that Microsoft faced in doing away with Windows, he said, was how to re-make its business to cope.
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