A tiny little peek at Windows 7

MinWinMicrosoft engineer Eric Traut gave a presentation on virtualization technology at the University of Illinois last week. And as part of that presentation, he showed off a few old versions of Windows running in Virtual PC. And he also pulled up a disc image running a tiny version of Windows 7.

No, we can't tell you anything really new and exciting about Microsoft's successor to Windows Vista. But we can tell you that Microsoft has begun work on the next generation of its operating system, which you probably already knew.

Basically, Traut showed off something called MinWin. This won't be available to the public, but is essentially a minimal Windows system running on the Windows 7 kernel. The kernel itself is just 25MB and MinWin takes up less than 40MB of RAM. It doesn't do much. Traut was basically showing its ability to host a simple HTTP server. But if you're hoping to skip over Windows Vista entirely and upgrade your XP system to Windows 7 in a few years, take heart in the knowledge that some progress is being made.

You can check out an 8 minute that includes a snippet of Windows 7 information at istartedsomething. Or if you're really into virtualization, you can check out Traut's entire hour-long talk.

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