Cheers kilikopele, beerage is good! I started writing MikeOS as an experiment, playing around with x86 assembly and a small bootloader. After that I had some design ideas for loading programs and system calls, so I went ahead to satisfy my curiosity. A 16-bit real-mode OS is pretty archaic today -- I didn't have any major plans for it or list of must-have features.
However, a few months ago I was browsing the OSDev.org forums and someone recommended MikeOS 0.40 as a tool for learning basic OS design. At the time I was working on a GUI for MikeOS, but the code was getting overly complex so I ditched it. So I decided to set a goal for 1.0: make it a (hopefully!) useful mini OS for first-time OS developers and those learning x86 assembly, with complete documentation from start to finish.
So I tided up and re-commented a lot of the code, simplified the build scripts and wrote the mammoth handbook which should serve as a one-stop-shop for all things MikeOS.
I've already had some third-party input (someone has sent me an OS X build script), and I'll release 1.1 if I add new system calls or features. As for 2.0... well, maybe the old GUI code can be resurrected at some point