The third service pack for Windows XP and the first major refresh for Windows Vista, are not even out in final form, as Vista SP1 moved from pre-beta to fully fledged beta, followed by a preview of XP SP3, but the releases are already old news. In parallel with the development of Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn, Vista SP1 and XP SP3, Microsoft is also focusing on building Windows 7, formerly codenamed Vienna. Windows 7 is designed to be the successor of
Windows Vista, and is currently planned for 2010. Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut gave a presentation of the kernel of Windows 7, the operating system's core, which is designed to have a minimal footprint.
MinWin "is the core of Windows 7. It is a collection of components that we've taken out. A lot of people think of Windows as this really large, bloated operating system, that's maybe a fair characterization, I could admit. It is large, it contains a lot of stuff in it, but at its core, the kernel and the components that make up the very core of the operating system, actually its pretty streamlined. It's still bigger than I'd like it to be but we've taken a shot recently at really stripping out all of the layers above and making sure that we have a very clean architectural layer", Traut revealed.
MinWin is an internal only product. Microsoft plans in no way to productize MinWin; however, the bare-bone kernel will act as the core for a lot of the company's solutions. Traut gave a presentation of the Windows 7 source code base that occupies only 25 MB of disk space. The amount is virtually insignificant compared with the 4 GB that Windows Vista manages to take out. Of course that the MinWin stripped down kernel is an integer part of Microsoft's strategy to deliver a modular installation of its operating system, something already done with Windows Server 2008's core installation. MinWin is composed of approximately 100 files and it will run with just 40 MB of RAM. But at the same time it does not come with a graphics subsystem and only brings to the table a rudimentary HTTP server. You can access a video of Traut's presentation of Windows 7 and MinWin via this link