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Windows 7 = Windows Vista 2

The myth of "MinWin" and a thinner Windows 7

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.

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