On nt3 and microkernels
This is what ast has to say: "Windows NT 3.1 was a half-hearted attempt at a microkernel system, but it wasn't done right and the performance wasn't good enough on the hardware of the early 1990s, so it gave up on the idea for a while. But recently, it tried again on modern hardware, resulting in Singularity."
They've had such influence that this wasn't a good signal for others tinkering with the same idea, though counterexamples like QNX show that it can be done with frightening efficiency.
Personally I've seen them botch too much, too often, too horribly, to trust they won't botch it on the (n+1)th attempt. Reason for harkening back to NT3 could be that it might be ported as it was to alpha, which may be less true of this apparently already abandoned research project.
A better approach --for us, not redmond-- might be to put andy's minix on those arm-based things in phones and fashion a programming environment and UI on top of that. At least there'll be someone with a few clues about building solid operating systems nearby. The porting to arm he's looking to pay a developer for, in fact, so if interested, go ahead and ask. I already did and he declined, worse luck.