Re: Should have happened years ago
>the slow speed of updates because each new build is specific to a specific hardware configuration (so requires the cooporation of original chip manufacturers).
Hence the microkernel? It seems to me that (power) efficiencies are to be had by de-layering the software and having a monolithic system, but that makes updates - especially when there are third-party mods from the telco networks - difficult to impossible.
The reason we don't have microkernels Windows after NT3.51 is that, while they are "the right thing to do" it requires lots of copying of data in and out of the kernel which is slow - and relevant to today - power-inefficient. It was safe, secure, and a performance dog which led to NT4. The interesting point will be if its better than running bytecode. If it is, they may be able to pull off a a switch from virtualisation to microkernel without too much of a hit to the user.
While from a user's POV making the OS secure is moot if the application layers are handing out data to all-comers, Google may have an interest in making sure all the data is funneled through them, rather than crime syndicates. The point about FLOSS is that it accumulates features and can afford to play the long game. Linux could easily end up being a threat to Android.
It will be interesting to see if Google makes a move to secure their OS or if they will rest on their volume of market share.