Urban legends are strange creatures. Even when they're exposed for what they are - tall tales seemingly "legitimized" through frequent retelling -- people continue to believe the lie.
Case in point: "MinWin." For months, so-called industry "experts" were speculating that Microsoft would make a clean break with Windows 7 -- that core elements of the OS would be rewritten from the ground up and that backwards compatibility would be relegated to the domain of virtual machines and emulation.
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Central to this theory was "MinWin." Citing the now infamous "Eric Traut demo," they claimed as fact that Microsoft was retooling the Windows kernel to make it lighter and less monolithic. Never mind that doing so would likely break the entire Windows hardware/software ecosystem. "MinWin" was the future. It was new. It was "cool." And as any industry media professional will tell you, it's the "cool" new technologies that drive page views.
Of course, now we know better. The whole "MinWin" bubble burst last week when, through various Microsoft web postings and interview comments, it was revealed that Windows 7 would in fact be more akin to "Windows Vista Second Edition": An evolutionary update that builds upon the existing NT 6.x kernel architecture as manifested in Windows Vista.
Undaunted, the "MinWin" true believers continue to cling to the legend. "If not Windows 7, then some future version," they say. "MinWin is coming." In fact, it could be here "today" if Microsoft would just "strip away all the user-mode bloat they've tacked onto Vista and its derivatives."
That last point seems to be a common theme among the "MinWin" faithful: That if you could somehow "pare down" Vista, removing unnecessary background services and dumping all that flashy Aero baggage, you'd end-up with a much leaner OS, something comparable to Windows XP or even 2000. It's an intriguing idea, one that adds to the whole "MinWin" mystique. It's also patently false.
The truth is that, when you strip away all of the new services and UI flashiness, the core Windows Vista/7 architecture is still quite bulky -- much more so than Windows XP and/or 2000. People who claim otherwise simply haven't done their homework. Fortunately, we make it easy to do just that by providing tools and resources of the Windows Sentinel project