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With Cosmos, developers can create and debug their own custom operating systems using Visual Studio .NET, Microsoft's visual programming environment for creating Web services based on use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Cosmos requires minimal programming experience and the full source code is publicly available. Cosmos shares some characteristics of Singularity, a Microsoft research project devoted to the development of new operating systems. Cosmos was conceived by a former employee of Microsoft but the project itself is independent from Microsoft.