Microsoft "Vista NG"

No, Vista NG (“Next Generation”) doesn’t exist (as far as I know).  But it should.

What is (would be) Vista NG?

An Operating System designed for a hardware platform that does not exist. An Operating System that drives the next generation of hardware design.  An Operating System that Microsoft didn’t expect to profit directly off of – but one that is so innovative that it drives a complete new generation of PC design (something we sorely need).  A complete abandonment of devices and drivers past.  A totally forward-looking Operating System that assumed, “If you code it, they will come”.  Microsoft should challenge hardware designers to develop a consumer device that can run the new Operating System.  Microsoft should offer an “X-Prize” style reward to the first company that builds a $1000 USD (retail) machine that can run the new Vista NG.

Some features of the OS would include:

  • Absolutely ZERO legacy support for anything that can be replaced with a more modern technology.
  • A well-defined hardware/interface architecture that allows for true plug and play components that accept a variety of form factors (video cards that can be swapped out “hot” on laptops, servers, and desktops – all without a screwdriver).  Basically a modular approach to not only upgrading a PC, but changing what it is configured to do – on the fly.  Need more storage space?  Pop in a new storage module – and have it magically accessible to the O/S.  Need more security?  Plug in a module that encrypts decrypt everything on the system – memory, storage, transmitted data, etc.  Need GPS/WiFi/Second Video?  Just plug them in.  No rebooting required.
  • ALL hardware devices include a basic built in driver that is downloaded to the host computer (from the add-on)upon  insertion – more functional drivers can/will be downloaded online.
  • 64 bit only.
  • Fan-less.  Noiseless.
  • “Wireless in the O/S” – the ability to manage and manipulate a PC from any SMS/email capable phone/device.  Basically “Microsoft Sideshow Anywhere”.
  • Extremely low power.  Unbelievably low power. Scary low power.
  • Huge bonus points (dollars) if it has absolutely zero moving parts.  In fact, there is ZERO reason for any moving parts.
  • HDMI out to support large format HDTV screens – scaling back to laptop sized resolutions (all in wide screen).

I wonder – if Microsoft (or someone else) really wrote such an Operating System – and gave a nice little prize for the hardware developer that built the right machine – would it change the world?  Would it make a lot of people a lot of money?

Take everything we currently hate about the PC (legacy EVERYTHING) hard drives, fans, blue screens, trying to find drivers… and throw it all away.

Start over.

Do better.

Innovate, and fear not those who won’t upgrade – where the early adopters go, the rest will follow!

I’m sure many of you have your own PC hardware wish list items.  What are they?


  1. Never knew that. How do they test it? Emulation? What is the thing that actually moves the electrons around?

  2. @Yuvi – everything I suggested is technically feasible. And embedded firmware development often starts before any hardware is available – so yes, you can build the software without the hardware.

  3. Is that even possible? My knowledge of things at the sub-OS level is extremely limited, but won’t they need something to test NG on? R&D Hardware?