No, its not a replacement of Vista, or Xp, its not even meant for the normal user Desktop computer. Singularity Operating System, released by Microsoft, is “a research operating system prototype (called Singularity), extending programming languages, and developing new techniques and tools for specifying and verifying program behavior” says the homepage of the Singularity project.
A detailed explanation from Microsoft is given below:
“Advances in languages, compilers, and tools open the possibility of significantly improving software. For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernel’s address space.
Singularity uses these advances to build more reliable systems and applications. For example, because SIPs are so cheap to create and enforce, Singularity runs each program, device driver, or system extension in its own SIP. SIPs are not allowed to share memory or modify their own code. As a result, we can make strong reliability guarantees about the code running in a SIP. We can verify much broader properties about a SIP at compile or install time than can be done for code running in traditional OS processes. Broader application of static verification is critical to predicting system behavior and providing users with strong guarantees about reliability.”
Put simply: The sole intention here is to test out futuristic new concepts in application interaction, microkernel architecture, and so on.
For those who like to know what Singularity means, here is some food for thought:
“…it is impossible to predict how a singularity will affect objects in its causal future.” – NCSA Cyberia Glossary