Microsoft 'streaming storage' patent maps OS future

August 17, 2011 by Nancy Owano weblog

( -- Microsoft might be planning a future where Windows open to something far bigger, the next time you push your power button on. A patent filed by Microsoft points to its plan for an operating system environment beyond Windows 8 that depends on cloud computing, not locally installed software. The patent suggests your computer will be booted through remote storage in a cloud computing construct, where software services control your digital work.

The calls for an operating system booted through a chain of with various priorities forming a centralized environment. The patent says:

“Various aspects of the subject matter described herein are directed towards a technology by which a virtual storage device for a physical or virtual computing machine is maintained as a chain of data structures (e.g., files) including far data maintained at a far (e.g., remote) backing store and near data maintained at a near (e.g., local) backing store (which initially may be empty).”

Reports in ConceivablyTech and detail the patent, filed in February 2010, but which are surfacing now.

The patent 20110197052 is called “Fast Machine Booting Through Streaming Storage.“ Inventors’ names are listed as Dustin Green, Jacob Oshins, and Michael Neil.

One of the advantages is called out as fast booting time.

“Described is a technology by which a virtual hard disk is maintained between a far (e.g., remote) backing store and a near (e.g., local) backing store, which among other advantages facilitates fast booting of a machine coupled to the virtual hard disk,” says the patent.

The patent explains that “the virtual disk is available for use immediately, rather than needing to download an entire operating system image before booting from that downloaded image. For example, during a boot operation, only a relatively small amount of data is needed from the boot disk, which is available from the far data and/or the near data.”

News of the patent is seen as proof that rumors and tips over Microsoft’s research project Midori back in 2008 and 2009 were on to something big. Midori, an project at Redmond, was believed to be focusing on the company’s OS future directions and a path to integration with Azure, which is Microsoft’s cloud platform.

The patent’s details and intent will most likely be the subject of conversation in the corridors if not meeting places next month in Anaheim, at the sold-out BUILD conference for developers.

Explore further: Microsoft and Salesforce end patent duel

More information: Patent:

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not rated yet Aug 17, 2011
Just bluffing and bewildering competitors. The rascals!

I'd like to see the day when booting over the net would be faster than booting off a local disk.

Instead, what I could imagine is a transparent and real-time backup system that keeps a remote copy always up-to-date. And, and this is very important, it would keep "deleted files" available for up to a month, in case I change my mind!!!

Now, this system I'd pay for. And I want it for my laptop, desktop, and my smartphone.
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 17, 2011
Personally, I think this is a dumb idea which is going to fail.

1) If your computer can't connect to the network, then it's completely useless, even for off-line applications. That miiiight be a big negative. yeah.

2) It's clearly an attempt to tighten their grip on the entire software market in a very NEGATIVE and monopolistic way.

3) Boot time is only a few seconds anyway, which while being annoying, you find you spend less than 1000th of your computing time waiting for boots.

b) Unless you power down your computer often, which you shouldn't because it wears out the power supply and power switch, among other things.

4) In a few years, we'll have spintronic processors, cache, and ram anyway, which will make even percieved advantages of this completely pointless and obsolete.

5) This is exactly the opposite of what the new internet and computing age needs. We need to REMOVE the ISP and the server farms, not bolster them. We need OPEN NETWORKING in the new internet.
4 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2011
It is all about transfer speed: if reading from the network is faster than reading from the local drive it makes sense to store the OS remotely which is faster than locally :).
In fact remote becomes local and viceversa.
Not to mention that Microsoft will control who boots and who doesn't.
5 / 5 (5) Aug 17, 2011
back to unix and telnet. sure it is a progress for MS having rediscovered the wheel and wanting to patent it as their own discovery.
1 / 5 (4) Aug 17, 2011
bah. all you haters out there. MS is trying to keep its lead in any way it can. I say bravo, keep pushing the envelope. Oh and btw, stop mentioning how MS is monopolistic... would you prefer Apple? I sure wouldn't, they're a monopoly and they don't even try to play nice with others...
5 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2011
I agree with Techno 1. Several logistic issues with this concept not to mention the moral side of things. I already have one computer I keep disconnected to the internet precisely because of some of these issues. I certainly won't be buying a computer I can't operate if I don't allow a corporation to remotely access and modify it at its whim
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 17, 2011
We no longer need a computer, just a terminal and a subscription to some isp service or other.

Now Royale, we hate all monopolistic companies no matter what their names because they tend to be against progress and they like to dictate to people what to do, how to do it and when to do it and with whom.
not rated yet Aug 17, 2011
I'd imagine for this to work we just need the ISP's to stop throttling/limiting our bandwidth and selling what they can't deliver. Perhaps then this would work great.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2011
If MS would provide a more intelligent structured and programmed OS, boot time would be cut down dramatically.

Apple shows how to do that.

I am not willing to open all doors to Big Brother (MS, Apple, Google or who ever) - cloud computing is not the way to go with an OS, and also not for basic standard programs
5 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2011
You mean if MS would just throw a skin over FreeBSD and claim they invented the OS? That's what Apple did. Anyhow, you can make an OS boot great when you control every piece of hardware that goes into the machine. You can also write better firmware too. If you want to call that an advantage for Apple feel free, but I'd prefer to buy hardware from whatever company I choose and install it.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2011
Now, this system I'd pay for.

And pay, and pay, and pay... Cloud storage vendors charging you monthly data storage fees, cloud OS vendors charging you monthly fees for organized access, cloud software vendors charging you per-use or monthly fees to use their applications...

Who knows how far they can squeeze the cash cow? Oh, you want to open a new file? That will cost $.05. Oh, you want to render that file for printing? That will cost $.05. Oh, that cloud application opens temporary files on your personal cloud storage, well, that burst of temporary storage will cost you $.01. Oh, you want fast personal cloud storage to work with your premium cloud application, well, that requires a premium service package...

This model may be appealing to many people and there are many advantages, but there are also major drawbacks. If you thought cell phone plans were bad, hold on to your wallets, that giant sucking sound is coming from the cloud...
not rated yet Aug 21, 2011
This all sounds a whole lot like the Xerox Parc Alto's network IPL.
not rated yet Aug 21, 2011
20110197052 is not a patent, yet. Right now it is just a published patent application.
not rated yet Aug 22, 2011
20110197052 is not a patent, yet. Right now it is just a published patent application.

And no doubt that Apple will contend the application on the grounds that it was their product/invention/pipedream in the first place and try to sue MS on those grounds...

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