Microsoft has started developing on operating system (OS) which could eventually replace the client-based Windows OS.

Unlike Windows, which hosts all the common elements Windows programs need on the desktop, Midori is likely to be web-based. As it's not tied to hardware, users would be able to use Midori from a number of different PCs.

Microsoft told the BBC,: "Midori is one of many incubation projects underway at at Microsoft. It's simply a matter of being too early in the incubation to talk about it."

The operating system is seen as Microsoft’s answer to the virtualisation approach adopted by competitors, which involves putting applications on a virtual server. According to Darren Brown, data centre lead at Avande this means "physically, there is less tin to manage".