MinWin, the core of Windows that allows administrators to run Windows at it’s very least components, is still around in Windows 8 – and much more prominent. At least, that is how the rumors are going these days. MinWin is basically just the very least that Windows needs to run: the kernel, HAL, TCP/IP, drivers and NTFS. With such little resources needed, you could run MinWin in a VM that takes up an extremely small footprint while still running what needs to be run.
Although the rumors are still flying about MinWin and the future of Hyper-V and XP Mode (they may be integrated into each other), the BUILD conference is where Microsoft will spill the beans on a lot of information on Windows 8. We’ll see how the predictions have been!
MinWin will allow Microsoft to decouple many subsystems from the core of Windows, including Internet Explorer. The underlying core that will be left will be the NT kernel. And that’s where Hyper-V may come into play, Villinger explained. It looks as if Hyper-V 3.0 could be baked into at least some Windows 8 client SKUs. The client-side Hyper-V hypervisor potentially could end up replacing XP Mode in Windows 7 and provide users with a way to run legacy apps on a much smaller and more secure virtualized Windows instance (MinWin), Villinger wrote.