Week in Microsoft: multicore OS rewrites, WinPhone 7 casualties, IE security

A Microsoft engineer last week said that to properly handle multicore processors, future operating systems should discard the multitasking systems of today, in favor of dedicating cores to specific tasks. This seems more than a little surprising.

The lack of native code development on Windows Phone 7 Series was always likely to discourage developers with large, preexisting codebases. Mozilla has confirmed that it is suspending development of its version of Firefox for Windows Mobile due to the inability to migrate to Windows Phone.

The introduction of the browser ballot is already yielding dividends for Firefox and Opera in Europe. There’s no such good news for the seven smaller browsers, though, justifying their complaint to the EU about the ballot’s design.

The unpatched Internet Explorer 6 and 7 vulnerability first reported a couple of weeks ago is becoming more and more exploited. Still no patch is available from Microsoft; upgrading to IE8 remains the safest option.

Internet Explorer 9 is looking promising. But it’s up against stiff competition, and that competition isn’t standing still. Can Microsoft actually move fast enough to keep its browser relevant, or does its corporate culture of stable, solid, immutable platforms stand in the way of regaining the success the company once had?

Microsoft’s annual TechFest is like a look into Microsoft’s brain—researchers from across the company show off their projects, in a kind of giant, geek science fair. This year featured 17 projects, with an emphasis on natural user interfaces (NUIs) and cloud computing.