What If ?

Who has not seen that one single famous (and semi baked) architectural diagram of W8?
This is the one :

W8 Architecture, MSFT

Half baked and muddled indeed. Perhaps intentionally. Perhaps this is work in progress. So, I am thinking, this is “early days”, etc. Next W8 (beta that is) version of W8 might easily turn into this architecture:

W8 DBJ guess (click to enlarge)

W8 HYPER-V client side is already a part of W8 Developers BUILD. Albeit “just” for 64 bit versions.

All the components are here. Up and running. Just a bit of re-arranging is what is required. I am thinking why not make this a default W8 configuration for every desktop that is running on Intel or AMD CPU’s? 32bit included. Compared to the “standard” architecture (diagram 1), would this not be much cleaner situation on the W8 client side? Complete clean separation of desktop W8 and tablet (ARM) W8? Would this not give everyone (with a PC) virtual METRO ARM machine, and W8 desktop machine, in the same time? Why mixing both in the same overly complicated machine? Surely more than one MSFT architect can see this.

HYPER-V as W8 default state, will make much more “rumble in the .NET jungle” :) It will be very difficult for .NET MVP’s to engage in their favourite sport, which is redrawing this initial W8 diagram. More difficult to redraw it and rearrange it so that .NET (and SilverLight) seem to have a future.

Let me rephrase it for You, so it hits the right note if it already did not. Why not HYPER-V on *every* W8 non-ARM machine? That would allow MSFT to execute a clean cut of the umbilical cord to the heavy weight of its legacy.

But, herein we reveal what might be a single reason for MSFT not doing, (for me) this obvious W8 architecture. This architecture might provoke a mass suicide of .NET lemmings.

And that is a killer point, indeed.

Update 2012 Mar 09

It seems Paul Thurrott (Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Does This Even Make Sense?) got sincerely upset with this same issue, too? Good article, albeit from a slightly different point of view, but still on the same subject: Why two faces inside the same OS? Why this architectural W8 mess?

I have started this post few months before W8 CR, hoping this will be resolved. But it did not. Still.

2 Replies to “What If ?”

  1. What exactly does Hyper-V have to do with .NET? Hyper-V is a virtualization platform for virtualizing a complete machine, the .NET runtime is just a layer on top of Win32 to enable platform independent binaries (assemblies) and add a security sandbox, otherwise not possible (think ClickOnce deployment).

    1. @Andreas M. I am glad you have some basic grasp of technology. This post is not about that. This post is about future of W8 and implications to You.

      Enabling technology for that seem to be HYPER-V. W8 + HYPER-V gives MSFT easy way to first decouple W8 from legacy code and then, if need to be, discard the legacy OS versions and legacy code. Sky is the limit. If every desktop is in a separate virtual machine, what is stopping them to release W8 as completely new Windows which is .NET free?

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