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Oz mini-OS to run Win32 .EXEs out of the box

Unless Microsoft gets stroppy about intellectual property

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A little-known Tasmanian software developer, Trumpet Software, is on the verge of launching a major challenge to Microsoft: an new operating system that runs 32-bit Windows applications out of the box. Trumpet's software, PetrOS, is due to go Alpha next month, according to down under newspaper The Australian. The company describes the software as NT Lite -- it's essentially a 100Kb microkernel and a Win32-compatible API to run executables compiled for NT. There's also a 200Kb TCP stack. Of course, how the Great Satan of Software will react to this remains to be seen. Trumpet Software founder Peter Tattam said in an interview with The Australian that he had been unable to obtain a definitive statement from Microsoft on the matter. Tattam said would probably risk it, given Microsoft's generally benign attitude to similar projects. That said, Microsoft won't want to risk ending up facing another Linux. In any case, Trumpet appears to be playing for relatively small stakes. It will target the OS at the workstation market and embedded applications. "We want to be able to hit the workstation market. Even if we only get one per cent of the market, it would be very good for us as a company," said Tattam. In the meantime, there's still plenty of work to do -- PetrOS currently lacks a GUI. How that and other aspects of the OS are developed with depend on the public reaction to the Alpha release. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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