[TUHS] Windows roots and Unix influence (was Re: Happy birthday, Ken Thompson!)

Nemo Nusquam cym224 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 4 12:59:26 AEST 2018

On 02/03/18 19:37, Dan Cross wrote (in part):
> The design of the original NT kernel was overseen by Dave Cutler, of VMS
> and RSX-11M fame, and had a very strong and apparent VMS influence. Some
> VAX wizards I know told me that they saw a lot of VMS in NT's design,
> but that it probably wasn't as good (different design goals, etc:
> apparently Gates wanted DOS++ and a quick time to market; Cutler wanted
> to do a *real* OS and they compromised to wind up with VMS--).

I recall that Cutler wanted a portable OS and had a cli version running 
on MIPS first.  Eventually, Gates ordered a GUI "bolted on" and things 
went bad.

> It's true that there was (is? I don't know anymore...) a POSIX
> subsystem, but that seemed more oriented at being a marketing check in
> the box for sales to the US government and DoD (which had "standardized"
> on POSIX and made it a requirement when investing in new systems).

Indeed, but it was functionally useless in that it could interact with 
the NT system.  It always reminds of the time that NT obtained FIPS 140 
Level 1 but with no network. (Had NIST not re-organised their website, I 
would link to the certificate.)


More information about the TUHS mailing list