A New OS is Born
Just when you think the operating system space is about as saturated as it could get — and all the action has moved to the middleware and applications layers of the stack — there’s a new OS added to the mix.
Unlike most OSes, however, the new OS, called Cosmos, doesn’t run on the bare metal of machines. Rather, it’s a virtualized OS that runs within the .NET container, intended to support .NET-based languages (particularly C#) that are also resident on the .NET container. Cosmos stands for “C# Open Source Managed Operating System.”
The OS is also open source, issued under the BSD license.
Why develop Cosmos? Actually, Microsoft also has a .NET-based OS called Singularity that also runs within this environment. The reason stated in the Cosmos FAQ section is that:
“Primarily because it’s fun. But beyond that, how else can you boot .NET on a floppy or small USB stick? Who else will try to put .NET on the Wii, OLPC, and iPhone? We are also developing a TCP/IP stack. Imagine instead of deploying half a dozen virtualized OS’s, deploying many dozens of dedicated OS’s. One that only does DNS, a few that only do HTTP, etc. One instance, one function.”
Welcome to the party, Cosmos. Mary Jo Foley, who first uncovered this announcement, also spoke with Chad “Kudzu” Hower, a former Microsoft employee, who admitted the OS has a “super geeky” flavor to it, and even has garned independent interest from Microsoft staffers.
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