HP's Big Slap-In-The-Face To Microsoft Will Show Up Next Year

HP The Machine CPUHP/Screen captureHP CTO Martin Fink

By June of next year, HP will be showing off what it hopes will become the future of the operating system.

And it won’t have anything to do with Microsoft or Windows.

The operating system is called Linux++, and is part of HP’s ambitious project to reinvent the computer, reports MIT Technology Review’s Tom Simonite.

Ultimately, HP hopes to replace Linux++ with something even more radical and homegrown, an operating system called Carbon, though it hasn’t talked about a timeline for that yet.

This is all part of HP’s plans to build “The Machine,” a computer so radical and so powerful that it will reduce today’s data center down to the size of a refrigerator.

To do this, HP is inventing a whole bunch of new technologies, including a new superfast way to transfer data that uses light (i.e. photonics) and, most importantly, a new kind of memory called “memristors.” HP hopes to have prototypes of The Machine available in 2016, and the device should be on sale by 2018, if HP’s plans stick.

All of this will need new software apps and a new operating system to run them, and this new OS sees HP running away from Microsoft (and to some extent VMware) as fast as it can.

When CTO Martin Fink, the head of HP Labs, first showed off The Machine at HP’s annual customer conference in June he said, “We want to reignite in all of our universities around the world on operating system research, which we think has been dormant or stagnant for decades.” 

He then said HP was working on new operating systems based on Linux and Android (but not Windows).

There’s still a lot of iffiness surrounding The Machine. Other researchers, including some at IBM, are working on competing new kinds of memory for new data center computers and are getting close to making those products available, Simonite reports.

And HP has actually been talking about memristors since about 2010, at that time saying commercial products would be available in 2013. Today, its timeline is 2016.

So even if it has The Machine ready by 2018, that could be too little, too late.

Meanwhile, HP is distracted by splitting itself into two. We understand that this project will become part of the new HP Enterprise company, run by Meg Whitman.

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