As well as being the first computer-related thing in some time to make me say “cool,” Microsoft’s from-scratch kernel architecture skunkworks—Singularity–is a genuinely interesting project from a comp-sci perspective. Right at the end of this webcast they start talking about trying to do away with the last hundred lines of unmanaged code at the bottom of the kernel. Screw Vista, bring on the “Assembler sharp” (Ass#?).
And if you want to hear them really dig into the theory and practice for an hour, check out this other webcast. It’s tempting to zone out, but there’s some whiteboard stuff past the middle that bears attention. And then right at the end, in the last ten minutes, they get into the hard cross-process performance numbers. And then they run out of tape.