what they came up with was the machine that the intel
432 should have
been - the architecture of it was completely object-oriented, even down
to the handle:offset-based addressing. a lot of oo mechanisms were done
in hardware, there as no concept of linear address space, and the
machine ran under the steam of its own language, lingo (used in at least
one academic book on oo - we read it during our degree course - and
afawk not related to the inferno project, although it's possible...).
there was a byte article on it somewhere too (dick pountain).
This is very similar to how AS/400s work (and I think S/38s, to some
degree). The internal CPUs (classic ones are custom, newer ones are
PowerPC) are not visible to any program directly - they go thru a bunch of
hardware and firmware first to deal with the objects.