That Windows-on-Power Rumor Surfaces Again
May 27, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I don’t know exactly how this rumor got started up again, but it did. Some people contacted me late last week and said that they heard from someone who heard from someone who attended the COMMON Europe Conference in Barcelona that ran in mid-May that IBM and Microsoft were working on a port of the Windows operating system to the Power6 processors.
According to one telling of the rumor, Mark Shearer, the former general manager of the former System i division and now vice president of marketing and offerings for IBM’s Business Systems division, told people at COMMON Europe that Windows on Power was in the works.
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble–and in this case, I really mean I hate to, since I have argued that IBM and Microsoft should do this and I wish that Windows had never left the Power platform–but I am going to. I contacted my sources at IBM, who asked Shearer if he had said any such thing, and he denied saying it or giving anyone the impression that Windows was being ported to Power6.
Even if Windows Server 2008 is never ported to the Power6 or Power7 processors, I think the next best thing would be to get a native .NET runtime environment ported to the i, AIX, and Linux operating systems running on Power iron. This could be best accomplished through a licensing agreement between IBM and Microsoft, but using the open source Project Mono clone of the .NET runtime environment, which is controlled by commercial Linux distributor Novell might be the easiest way to accomplish this task. Embedding .NET into i, AIX, and Linux should be no more difficult, in theory, than making Java and its virtual machines run on Power. And that certainly works.
If you want such capability, or think it will help the i or AIX platforms, you should lean on IBM and work through the local user groups and the larger COMMON and COMMON Europe user groups for the OS/400-i5/OS-i platform to get this functionality in as a formal requirement.