Author: Thom Holwerda
If you know your Windows history, you’ll know that the operating system got that name when it moved away from using pure MS-DOS and started using a graphical user interface to show things. As it turns out, you can force Windows 11 back to its legacy roots and reduce it back to a command-line interface. This is what the developer of Tiny11 has achieved, calling their new creation “Minwin.” The developer of Win11, NTDev, posted a video on YouTube about their project. There’s absolutely nothing flashy here; no Copilot, no Start menu, and definitely no UI. It’s as graphically complex as the Command Prompt, which meant that NTDev had to resort to fancy 00s-era ASCII logos to announce that Minwin was working. ↫ Simon Batt at XDA Definitely a neat proof-of-concept, and it shows just how modular Windows could be if only Microsoft allowed its users to take out the parts they don’t need. I wonder how close this is to Nano Server, an installation option for Windows Server you’ve probably never heard of. I also like the nod to MinWin, the informal codename Microsoft used internally to refer to an effort by a small number of expert Windows kernel engineers to untangle the spaghetti ball of dependencies that had sprouted between the various architectural layers of Windows. This project started around Vista, and eventually made it possible to make broader, sweeping changes to Windows without breaking things all over the place because the spaghetti ball of internal, low-level dependencies wasn’t mapped out.