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

Donald ODona mutiny.mutiny at india.com
Sun Feb 4 19:11:40 AEST 2018

At 4 Feb 2018 00:39:36 +0000 (+00:00) from Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com>:
> On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 5:59 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> 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--).

Win32/WinNT basically is OS2 Release 3, with IBM as customer and principal leader. 
Release 3 was OS/2 portable running on more that Intel X86. Furthermore MS hired
a Mach developer for NT Kernel, which, like all micro kernels, started as micro kernel
and soon became a hybrid out of good reasons.
Cutler contribution to Windows is largely overrated, because all these rumors of a VMS
heritage serve MS as a marketing campaign to compete against *NIX, because of VMS
reputation as very stable and secure OS. In real Windows has nothing to do with
VMS. Cutler and his team were hired after DEC stopped the mica project out of good
reasons. Windows has a lot to do with OS/2 and IBM is responsible for it. Without
the expertise of IBM MS surely would have build windows GUI upon xenix. Remember
xenix was MS unix and the most wide spread UNIX of the 80ths. 

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