Alright, so Midori is really starting to pique my interest now (I’m a sucker for the visuals, so, “UI” always grabs my attention). Ever since Mary Jo Foley first broke the story on Midori (that sentence reads like an Eminem rhyme, doesn’t it?), everyone has been captivated and the rumor mill has been as active as ever. Though a much greater percentage is unknown than is currently known about Midori, what it is NOT is Windows 8 or Windows 9, so bear that in mind when you read stories about Midori and Windows concurrently. Anyway, taking a look on Microsoft’s job site to see if Midori would show its thus-far elusive face, it appears as though Microsoft is finally going external with its efforts to seek out candidates to work on this once clandestine project (thanks again, MJ).
From the job listing, we’re also able to glean some rather interesting details which I will expand upon below the job listing:
The Technical Strategy Incubation team is seeking to hire an Architect to lead the design and implementation of the end to end UI stack for its Midori Operating System. The Midori incubation is chartered with pursuing strategic opportunities which are difficult to address incrementally with existing systems, such as UI responsiveness, UI security, UI in distributed environments that cross devices, new models for asynchronous UI, and effective use of GPUs and manycore.
The successful candidate is a principal or partner level Architect who is passionate about building next generation UI/Graphics technologies, enjoys startup environments and loves to code. We are seeking an individual with expertise in several of the following areas: graphics device driver models, scalable rendering engines, glitch-free animation and media pipelines, 2D vector graphics and typography, modern desktop compositor architectures, data-driven UI frameworks, and human computer interaction. This is a high visibility position with impact in the incubation, in the company, and in the overall market.
Midori is a small hand-picked team of senior, hands-on architects and developers passionate about building real systems that extend the current thinking in Operating Systems and Platform technology. This group has the unique aspect of being outside of existing product groups, allowing us to pursue experimental ideas and solutions that may be impractical or too expensive for existing products due to legacy customer demands and business commitments.
Because this is an incubation group, a candidate must have a high tolerance for uncertainty and changes in direction. Comfort with low-level systems development and expert proficiency in a C-like language are required. Additional desirable, but not mandatory, skills include familiarity with GPU programming and rendering techniques, data parallelism and concurrency, data synchronization, and real-time collaboration technologies.
I love how descriptive Microsoft is with their job descriptions. Alright, the first thing that sticks out to me when reading from top-to-bottom is, “…pursuing strategic opportunities which are difficult to address incrementally with existing systems, such as UI responsiveness, UI security, UI in distributed environments that cross devices, new models for asynchronous UI, and effective use of GPUs and manycore.”
In other words, they’re aiming beyond the scope of what can be developed into Windows from one revision to the next. Likewise, that almost reads like a who’s who list of items the Midori team considers to be UI flaws (perhaps, “limitations” would be more fitting) within Windows. In a previous LinkedIn voyage of mine, I ran across a Microsoft employee who said they were working on a next-generation UI framework for Windows 8. I get the impression that the aim for Midori’s UI capabilities are well beyond the scope of what they’re planning for Windows 8, but it’s completely possible the Midori OS team could pull from ideas developed by the Windows team. Especially since Midori is noted in that job listing to be prone to, “uncertainty and changes in direction.” I’ll touch again on that point in a minute.
Next up, the entirety of the 3rd paragraph: “Midori is a small hand-picked team of senior, hands-on architects and developers passionate about building real systems that extend the current thinking in Operating Systems and Platform technology. This group has the unique aspect of being outside of existing product groups, allowing us to pursue experimental ideas and solutions that may be impractical or too expensive for existing products due to legacy customer demands and business commitments.”
Translation: Unlimited funds. The sky is the limit where money and ideas are concerned. This is no surprise, though, considering how much Microsoft spends a year in R&D (billions). Without the need to cater to customers or even meet an overall deadline (remember that whole, “uncertainty and changes in direction” thing?), it sounds like the Midori team gets to have much more fun and freedom than the standard team within Microsoft. I could be wrong about that, though.
Lastly, I think it would be great to get an expert in here (are you out there, Ron G.?) to clarify what most of that UI terminology refers to. More specifically, I get the overall scope of this, but I’m interested in what some of these specifics mean, and where the Midori team sees the flaws/limitations of this stuff within Windows, i.e., UI Security. I’m sure many of you out there have your own ideas and suggestions, but it’s the in-house considerations I’m really curious about.
To wrap things up here are two mentions of Midori on LinkedIn that still remain from the last time I went searching for the term:
Since 2007 I have been working on a technology incubation project code named Midori. Midori is an overarching incubation effort that covers many related and yet different areas and my focuses are primarily OS kernel and process runtime. The areas I work on include memory management, scheduling, synchronization primitives, IPC, event tracing and performance monitoring infrastructure, error handling mechanism, and memory safety.
Link: Jinsong Yu
I work on a technology incubation project named Midori. Midori is an effort that covers many areas of OS kernel and process runtime design.
Link: Dmitry Meshchaninov