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posted by takyon on Wednesday September 30 2020, @01:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the embrace dept.

Open source's Eric Raymond: Windows 10 will soon be just an emulation layer on Linux kernel

Will Windows lose the last phase of the desktop wars to Linux? Noted open-source advocate Eric Raymond thinks so.

Celebrated open-source software advocate and author Eric Raymond, who's long argued Linux will rule the desktop, reckons it won't be long before Windows 10 becomes an emulation layer over a Linux kernel.

[...] Looking further into the future, Raymond sees Microsoft killing off Windows emulation altogether after it reaches the point where everything under the Windows user interface has already moved to Linux.

"Third-party software providers stop shipping Windows binaries in favor of ELF binaries with a pure Linux API... and Linux finally wins the desktop wars, not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be," Raymond projects.

Is It Time for Windows and Linux to Converge?

Last phase of the desktop wars?

The two most intriguing developments in the recent evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system are Windows System for Linux (WSL) and the porting of their Microsoft Edge browser to Ubuntu.

For those of you not keeping up, WSL allows unmodified Linux binaries to run under Windows 10. No emulation, no shim layer, they just load and go.

[...] Proton is the emulation layer that allows Windows games distributed on Steam to run over Linux. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting close. I myself use it to play World of Warships on the Great Beast.

The thing about games is that they are the most demanding possible stress test for a Windows emulation layer, much more so than business software. We may already be at the point where Proton-like technology is entirely good enough to run Windows business software over Linux. If not, we will be soon.

So, you're a Microsoft corporate strategist. What's the profit-maximizing path forward given all these factors?

It's this: Microsoft Windows becomes a Proton-like emulation layer over a Linux kernel, with the layer getting thinner over time as more of the support lands in the mainline kernel sources. The economic motive is that Microsoft sheds an ever-larger fraction of its development costs as less and less has to be done in-house.

If you think this is fantasy, think again. The best evidence that it's already the plan is that Microsoft has already ported Edge to run under Linux. There is only one way that makes any sense, and that is as a trial run for freeing the rest of the Windows utility suite from depending on any emulation layer.

So, the end state this all points at is: New Windows is mostly a Linux kernel, there's an old-Windows emulation over it, but Edge and the rest of the Windows user-land utilities don't use the emulation. The emulation layer is there for games and other legacy third-party software.

Also at The Register.

Previously: Windows 10 Will Soon Ship with a Full, Open Source, GPLed Linux Kernel
Call Me Crazy, but Windows 11 Could Run On Linux
Microsoft Windows Linux for Everybody


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

Related Stories

Windows 10 Will Soon Ship with a Full, Open Source, GPLed Linux Kernel 73 comments

Has no one seen this yet? Don't cross the streams!

Ars Technica:

Earlier today, we wrote that Microsoft was going to add some big new features to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, including native support for Docker containers. It turns out that that ain't the half of it.

Not even half.

All is changing with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. Instead of emulating the Linux kernel APIs on the NT kernel, WSL 2 is going to run a full Linux kernel in a lightweight virtual machine. This kernel will be trimmed down and tailored to this particular use case, with stripped-down hardware support (since it will defer to the host Windows OS for that) and faster booting.

The Linux kernel is GPLed open source; the GPL license requires that any modifications made to the code must be published and made available under the GPL license. Microsoft will duly comply with this, publishing the patches and modifications it makes to the kernel. WSL 2 will also use a similar split as the current WSL does: the kernel component will be shipped with Windows while "personalities" as provided by the various Linux distributions can be installed from the Microsoft Store.

To quote Han Solo, "I've got a bad feeling about this."


Original Submission

Call Me Crazy, but Windows 11 Could Run On Linux 121 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

With Microsoft embracing Linux ever more tightly, might it do the heretofore unthinkable and dump the NT kernel in favor of the Linux kernel? No, I’m not ready for the funny farm. As it prepares Windows 11, Microsoft has been laying the groundwork for such a radical release.

I’ve long toyed with the idea that Microsoft could release a desktop Linux. Now I’ve started taking that idea more seriously — with a twist. Microsoft could replace Windows’ innards, the NT kernel, with a Linux kernel.

It would still look like Windows. For most users, it would still work like Windows. But the engine running it all would be Linux.

Why would Microsoft do this? Well, have you been paying attention to Windows lately? It has been one foul-up after another. Just in the last few months there was the registry backup fail and numerous and regular machine-hobbling Windows updates. In fact, updates have grown so sloppy you have to seriously wonder whether it’s safer to stay open to attacks or “upgrade” your system with a dodgy patch.

Remember when letting your Windows system get automatic patches every month was nothing to worry about? I do. Good times.

Why is this happening? The root cause of all these problems is that, for Microsoft, Windows desktop software is now a back-burner product. It wants your company to move you to Windows Virtual Desktop and replace your existing PC-based software, like Office 2019, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) programs like Office 365. It’s obvious, right? Nobody in Redmond cares anymore, so quality assurance for Windows the desktop is being flushed down the toilet.

Many of the problems afflicting Windows do not reside in the operating system’s upper levels. Instead, their roots are deep down in the NT kernel. What, then, if we could replace that rotten kernel with a fresh, healthy kernel? Maybe one that is being kept up to date by a worldwide group of passionate developers. Yes, my bias is showing, but that’s Linux, and it’s a solution that makes a lot of sense.


Original Submission

Microsoft Windows Linux for Everybody 67 comments

Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux is coming to all Windows 10 users (archive):

You won't have to be a tester to try Windows 10's new, built-in Linux kernel in the near future. Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 will be widely available when Windows 10 version 2004 arrives. You'll have to install it manually for a "few months" until an update adds automatic installs and updates, but that's a small price to pay if you want Linux and Windows to coexist in peace and harmony. It'll be easier to set up, at least -- the kernel will now be delivered through Windows Update instead of forcing you to install an entire Windows image.

Embrace, Extend... Excite!

Windows blog post.

Previously: Windows 10 Will Soon Ship with a Full, Open Source, GPLed Linux Kernel


Original Submission

The Year-Round Joys and Benefits of Open Source Software 33 comments

Over at ACM.org Yegor Bugayenko reviews how companies benefit from open source:

'Tis the season to be jolly, and many people around the world are getting those warm, fuzzy holiday feels. One of the things that makes us programmers feel warm and fuzzy is open source software. With open source, you can easily see the code and documentation, and better yet, you can use it too. A lot of companies support open source as well, providing funding, labor power, and code for free.

Why give something away for free? A lot of individuals contribute open source code out of a genuine sense of altruism. Yet when it comes to companies, it's often a strategic choice, and one they expect to benefit from.

[...] Why go through all the trouble? Let's take a look at the tangible benefits of supporting open source, especially from the perspective of tech giants like Google. Let's start by looking at how companies support open source.

The author goes on to list benefits for companies that support open source, citing Google, Microsoft, IBM and Adobe as examples. He also mentions how Red Hat benefited from its acquisition by IBM. He concludes:

So what's the take away for all of this? Open source is a great resource for the community, sure, but it's also a valuable resource for companies. Open source provides sales, influence, branding, retaining and training opportunities, among others, for companies. And for individual programmers, open source projects offer a way to build skills, increase knowledge, and make connections.

Previously:
CentOS Linux 8 Will End in 2021
Open Source's Eric Raymond: Windows 10 Will Soon be Just an Emulation Layer on Linux Kernel
Microsoft Releases Open-Source Process Monitor for Linux
Google Takes Down Repositories that Circumvent its Widevine DRM


Original Submission

What is Microsoft Doing with Linux? Everything You Need to Know about its Plans for Open Source 30 comments

With an article that covers "From Cancer to Cloud" and beyond, Techrepublic asks: What is Microsoft Doing With Linux? Everything You Need to Know About its Plans for Open Source

'Microsoft and Linux' should be a phrase we're used to hearing by now. Microsoft is a member of not only the Linux Foundation but also the Linux kernel security mailing list... Microsoft is submitting patches to the Linux kernel... And when Microsoft wanted to add container support to Windows, it picked an open-source specification designed originally for [Linux].

Now Azure customers get the same hybrid benefits for Linux support contracts as they do for Windows Server licences; Windows runs Linux binaries; some key Microsoft applications are available on Linux; and new services might be built with Linux.

[...] At the recent Azure Open Day, Kubernetes co-founder and Microsoft corporate vice-president Brendan Burns talked about Microsoft having a deep understanding of Linux and contributing to existing open-source projects based on Linux as well as founding new ones like Dapr (Distributed Application Runtime).

[...] In short, Microsoft 'hearts' Linux.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by YeaWhatevs on Wednesday September 30 2020, @01:57AM (9 children)

    by YeaWhatevs (5623) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @01:57AM (#1058857)

    Oh boy, that guy. Yes, Microsoft is cool with saving a buck. Yes if you're doing any sort of modern development WSL is much better than dual booting. No, that is not "Winning the desktop war", since the brand is still windows, and deeper under the hood just ask the guys over at ReactOS about why they aren't just putting their desktop on a wine layer.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Zinnia Zirconium on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:12AM (5 children)

      by Zinnia Zirconium (11163) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:12AM (#1058861) Homepage Journal

      The brand is still Windows and marketing is supremely important. Nobody cares that Linux achieved world domination through Android. It's not called Linux so the marketing just isn't right.

      Marketing is everything. Code is worthless. Linus wasted his life coding an actual kernel when only the brand matters.

      Don't ever code. Learn marketing.
      </sarcasm>

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:19AM (#1058863)

        Everyone loves Raymond? Or everyone loves takyon? I miss the cartoon.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:28AM (3 children)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:28AM (#1058865) Journal

        I think it's kinda nostalgic. Windows rode in on DOS, and now will ride off on tty7

        --
        La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Zinnia Zirconium on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:33AM (2 children)

          by Zinnia Zirconium (11163) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:33AM (#1058868) Homepage Journal

          I'm gonna miss the NT kernel when it's gone.

          • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @06:37AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @06:37AM (#1058940)

            But Eric F. Raymond has become a gun-toting, young girl chasing, Patreon begging, basket case of a former free software person? Even Barbara has remarked his passing in a journal. The man is an ass. Has nothing to say after 9-11. He is the Denis Miller, or the Rudy Guiliani of the free software movement. Lost him mind, lost his moral compass, and lost his supporters! Nobody loves Raymond, anymore. (Don't get me started on Perens. Linus is the only real man, and most of the rest are posers and marketers!)

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:22AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:22AM (#1058952)

              He sounds like a misandrist who believes that buttery males have a "critical age" or "military age" when violence is a foregone conclusion.

    • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:02AM (1 child)

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:02AM (#1058878) Journal

      Yes if you're doing any sort of modern development WSL is much better than dual booting.

      [Citation Needed]

      Do you have anything to back up the assertion that WSL is being used anywhere? M$ has not published any figures but going from some peripherally related leaks and some black-box guessing, it looks like global adoption (not just downloads) is a 4-figure number, if even that.

      The name sure as hell is annoying. It is a Linux Subsystem for Windows but as with everything from M$, it is mislabelled. Actually it's not even Linux, it is paravirtualization.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @11:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @11:50AM (#1059004)

        I use WSL to get around the lack of usable CLI on Windows. Specifically, for quickly identifying file contents (file, xxd, grep, sed, awk), and to get good cross-platform remoting capabilities (ssh, git, gnupg).

        Actually it's not even Linux, it is paravirtualization

        In what way is paravirtualization "not Linux"? Linux domains on Xen on Solaris (an actual, proper paravirtual host) were still called Linux, IIRC. And in what way is Hyper-V "paravirtualization"?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @10:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @10:15PM (#1059236)

      Yes if you're doing any sort of modern development WSL is much better than dual booting.

      I've been under the impression for quite some time that Microsoft's endgame with this is that Linux is forcefully assimilated as another layer of Windows API. Not overly realistic that this alone would help it get that far, but that doesn't mean it won't do a lot of damage to Linux if things go in Microsoft's favor over the long term.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:34AM (8 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:34AM (#1058869) Journal

    ESR, huh? The Linux kernel is better than Windows through the sheer force of the massive base of coders and orgs that make contributions. If he is proven right about this (big if), the bazaar beat the ultimate cathedral.

    But, the Linux kernel still has a lot of issues, even fundamental design flaws. Such as, it is a monolithic kernel. What's the ratio of driver code to code for core kernel functionality? It exceeded 50% some time ago. Microkernels do work. They just haven't gotten the love. A typical generic Linux kernel that can handle most common hardware is now so big that keeping every minor version available for boot, as Ubuntu used to do, eats up significant storage space, even with terabytes of capacity.

    I've been wanting virtualization that can support quickly swapping between OSes, instead of the current, decades old best practice of dual booting.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by RS3 on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:39AM (6 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:39AM (#1058895)

      Maybe I'm missing a few things, and maybe I don't understand the definition of "monolithic kernel". ALL of my Linux machines, including live servers I admin, run dozens of modprobed modules. You only need a very few drivers to get the OS started, then load modules for everything else, right? I mean, you have to have some kind of disk and filesystem driver to do the minimum, then load modules, so I'm not sure how much less "monolithic" you can make a kernel. I'm hoping you'll 'splain. :)

      BTW, check out the kernel size in an Alpine Linux machine (that''s not running X). I don't have one running at this second but if you're curious I'll get the stats. And it'll be with a stock kernel- no one I've customized (don't need to!)

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Grishnakh on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:58AM (5 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:58AM (#1058904)

        Those modules all still live in the same address space as each other and other kernel code; that's what makes it a monolithic kernel. It's not completely monolithic though; it's usually called a "hybrid kernel" just as Windows is.

        A true microkernel doesn't have drivers in the same address space as the rest of the kernel, and they can only communicate with the kernel through message-passing, which of course is really wasteful and involves extra context switches. That's why true microkernels are so rare; they're just not very efficient. They're usually used for specialty embedded OSes where performance isn't very important but safety and security are.

        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:00AM (2 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:00AM (#1058924)

          Thank you, that is incredibly informative. I did study this stuff starting a long time ago. IIRC, Ring 2 was supposed to be for hardware drivers, but for some reason- maybe context switching too costly- it has rarely been used. Not sure if Intel / AMD / ARM / whoever could make it more efficient.

          That said, there are so many CPU and RAM vulnerabilities, what's the point, and would you trust them to do it right (no I would not...).

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:21PM (1 child)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:21PM (#1059163)

            Intel CPUs were (and I guess still are) designed with 4 "rings", 0 through 3. The kernel lives in 0 I think, and userspace in 3. I have no idea if anyone's ever used those other two rings, but they continue to be put there for backwards compatibility; no modern OS uses them.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:53PM

              by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:53PM (#1059183)

              D'oh, I meant ring 1 for drivers. IIRC, ring 2 would be for "hardware abstraction layer" / IO stuff. But yes, AFAIK no OS used or used rings 1 or 2.

              I did some Novell work 25 years ago, and the Netware Server was screaming fast compared to Windows OS (9x, NT, whatever) and AFAIK Netware ran "flat memory model"- no segments / selectors - just 32-bit addresses (even though CPUs were coming out with 36 address lines, called "PAE")- no ring / privilege changes, no address calculations done by the CPU (well, very few- indexed addressing / offsets of course).

              Someday I'll do some research. Ideally you'd have a microkernel at ring 0, drivers at 1, HAL at 2, apps at 3, but the overhead is a problem.

              There are many ways to do memory protection in a more efficient way, but I'll give Intel (and MS) much credit for maintaining backward compatibility. Of course, one can strongly argue that the backward compatibility has ushered us into the security nightmare we all live and deal with every day. How many computers are brought to their knees due to very hungry anti-malware that doesn't always work anyway. Sigh.

              And as I mentioned before, the CPUs themselves have so many internal vulnerabilities, often due to cache, stack, and branch prediction (spectre, etc.), even RAM ("rambleed, rowhammer, side-channel attacks...) are vulnerable. Can't win... Glad I still have a couple of '486 and '386 motherboards. May need them someday! :)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:15PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:15PM (#1059158)

          what is the perf loss, and the safety + security gain in %?

        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday October 01 2020, @04:59AM

          by sjames (2882) on Thursday October 01 2020, @04:59AM (#1059344) Journal

          Just to enlarge on an already great answer, the early Linux kernels didn't have modules at all. If you wanted to add a driver, you re-configured and recompiled. Many commercial Unix kernels came with object files and a mini-linker so you could add new driver objects and re-link to make a new kernel image.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by loonycyborg on Wednesday September 30 2020, @12:46PM

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @12:46PM (#1059013)

      Microkernels mostly add more annoying complexity. GNU/Hurd is microkernel too and it exists side by side with linux kernel for already long time. Not to mention L4 variants and who knows what else. Only reason they didn't win over linux kernel is that it isn't as good idea as you think. Maybe microkernels have advantages but not great enough advantages to warrant calling not having microkernel architecture in a particular kernel a flaw.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:04AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:04AM (#1058879)

    The two most intriguing developments in the recent evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system are Windows System for Linux (WSL) and the porting of their Microsoft Edge browser to Ubuntu.

    For those of you not keeping up, WSL allows unmodified Linux binaries to run under Windows 10. No emulation, no shim layer, they just load and go.

    Who's the idiot who wrote this? WSL2 is a literal virtual machine layer. It has existed for over a year. WSL1 is EOL and has been for ages.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by meustrus on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:21PM (4 children)

      by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:21PM (#1059066)

      Well, it's iffy.

      WSL1 worked by translating Linux kernel calls to Windows kernel calls. It mostly worked, but many features were unimplemented. It's basically reverse WINE.

      WSL2 works by running a custom-built Linux kernel on top of Hyper-V. Because Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor (when you use it, Hyper-V becomes the bare metal host and Windows itself is converted to a client OS), that means you're basically running Linux side by side. Technically, that's "no emulation, no shim layer". Then again, you could do the same thing with KVM instead of Hyper-V.

      Even with WSL2, though, it's misleading to say that Linux binaries "just load and go". That's true if you're in a terminal, because WSL gives you a direct terminal to the Linux guest. But if you want to run Linux desktop apps, you still have to tunnel them through something like RDP or Spice, or try running them with X tunneling to an X server running natively on Windows.

      Unfortunately, RDP or Spice are full-screen solutions, and X tunneling is slow as ass even with completely local sockets. To run Linux GUI apps on Windows, Microsoft would have to develop a custom windowing system for Linux that could tunnel back to Windows at full speed.

      Such a custom windowing system might work for most software, but it will never work for everything. Same goes for the reverse, making the Windows desktop capable of tunneling back to Linux at full speed. There's just too much backwards bullshit you can do to the screen, which any performance-conscious application will do.

      Which brings us to Proton, the Wine fork developed by Valve. It's not a drop-in compatibility layer, though, and it never will be. It's a tool to make porting games to Linux a vastly simpler process that involves tweaking config files instead of re-architecting the entire graphics interface. But the tweaking of config files will always be necessary.

      Long story short, Windows and Linux GUI apps will never live side-by-side without sacrificing backwards compatibility. And let's be honest, backwards compatibility is the only thing keeping the Windows desktop on top.

      Could Microsoft make a Windows-like experience on top of a Linux desktop? Sure. Will it run the entire back catalog of Windows programs? Hell no.

      Have they tried something like that before! Actually, yes: Windows on ARM processors. It breaks backwards compatibility already, but the boost to battery life may be worth it.

      So maybe that's the end-game for Windows apps for native Linux: Surface devices running Linux with a Windows-like desktop environment. They could even develop something like the XP mode for Windows 7, or Apple's Rosetta, which translated PPC-compiled apps to x86 apps.

      But it just doesn't make sense for any of this stuff to converge the way Raymond thinks it will. Microsoft definitely wants Windows to be the best way to run Linux apps. But there's no way in hell they're going to abandon the Windows kernel, the Windows desktop, and the back catalog of 3rd-party Windows applications.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:23PM (#1059164)

        linux needs a LSW where any windows app is install-able and runable transparently, with sandboxing, etc. just imagine all the smb that would switch to linux if they didn't have to use windows for their old proprietary industry desktop apps.

        • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:28PM

          by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:28PM (#1059218)

          You can always run Windows in KVM and connect to it via RDP or, with the right virtual graphics adapter, Spice. That's basically the reverse of WSL2, except that terminal access, filesystem access, and user integration is roll-your-own. Which describes most stuff in the Linux desktop anyway.

          The major downside of this is that you still need a valid Windows license key. The upside is that unlike WSL, you could use PCI passthrough for the graphics adapter and get native (local) graphics performance.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @10:04PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @10:04PM (#1059234)

        ...and the back catalog of 3rd-party Windows applications.

        If I recall correctly, that's a major portion of what Windows 10 S is supposed to do - restrict the user's ability to use Win32 programs, in favor of their own walled garden, UWP.

        For "security."

        • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Thursday October 01 2020, @03:33PM

          by meustrus (4961) on Thursday October 01 2020, @03:33PM (#1059465)

          For what it's worth, UWP apps are easier to make cross-platform than others. The framework is basically ported to everything except legacy Windows, which huh, that's a curious and idiotic move, but whatever.

          Also, Win32 is the incurable source of the majority of Windows-related security issues, so I'd say that restricting access to it absolutely makes Windows more secure.

          Walled gardens aren't always bad. Sometimes they keep you trapped inside, and that's bad, but they also keep the rabble out. And on the interwebs, "rabble" doesn't mean poor people, it means botnets and shareware that installs privacy-destroying browser plugins.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:28AM (#1058892)

    Soon you won't be able to search the web for your Linux problem because it will all be:

    Microsoft Linux Microsoft Linux !!!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @04:15AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @04:15AM (#1058910)

    Seriously, what do they get from it? Supporting Linux software on top of Windows gets them a lot and keeps people from needing to move away from their comfortable Windows setup, while still being inconvenient enough to prevent people from just developing for Linux and telling people to install their Linux on Windows.
    In contrast, moving towards the Linux kernel does... what for them? Lose existing driver support? Give people a way out of the MS ecosystem? Remove MS control over development?
    MS's biggest moneymakers remain Windows and Office, and a shift towards a Linux-based system means that the need to target Windows falls away.

    Edge is coming to Linux almost entirely because it requires fairly little effort since it's just a bloody Chrome fork like nearly every other browser these days.
    MS has positioned themselves exactly where they want, and there's very little reason for them to move from where they are.

    Would it be great if MS did something this stupid and threw away their control over the OS market? Sure. Will it happen? Hell no, because it would be aggressively stupid. Mindbogglingly stupid. Money-into-firepit stupid.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @04:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @04:36AM (#1058916)

      It'll be like Silverlight and J++. It'll die but Windows will remain.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:32AM (6 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:32AM (#1058976)

      Seriously, what do they get from it?...

      Post-x86 survival: It's much easier and far cheaper to write a new linux desktop user-land and GUI tools while running windows and linux applications on top of it (in sandboxes and emulations) than it is to port Windows to a new architecture, get hardware partners to write new drivers and run windows applications on top of it (in emulators).

      They tried both and are still trying. But combined with their cloud interests and looking at what they've been upstreaming and open sourcing, it's strongly leaning towards an Android-like, Windows-style .NET user-land running on a linux kernel.

      Lose existing driver support?

      Post-x86... It's about the future. Not the present.

      Give people a way out of the MS ecosystem?

      "People" already left to the browser, smartphones and consoles. What's left can be done on iOS so they're really just doing legacy at this point.

      Remove MS control over development?

      They've lost their control to the technical needs of backwards compatibility. And since Windows have no value outside legacy...

      Money-into-firepit stupid.

      From the business side of things, the cloud and the linux ecosystem is growing so there's justification for R&D investments. Windows isn't and won't grow so there's no point in investing in it aside from core maintenance.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday September 30 2020, @11:39AM (2 children)

        by looorg (578) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @11:39AM (#1059002)

        Post-x86-survival. But wasn't there already a version of Windows10 that runs on ARM CPU? I seem to recall there was a piece, or comment about it, here some time during the last few months or so. They should be fairly set then. It's all about the transition then and how backwards compatible they can remain and for how long. It's the slow transition of the user base now over to the new promised land (I guess that is the post-x86-world).

        I highly doubt that Windows will just become some kind of new desktop UI theme that goes ontop of Linux. But what do I know.

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:30PM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:30PM (#1059047)

          But wasn't there already a version of Windows10 that runs on ARM CPU?...

          "Windows 10 Mobile"... "Windows 10 IoT Core"... "Windows 10 on Arm"... Microsoft always had contemporary Windows ports available for ARM under one name or the next. The current "Windows on Snapdragon" Qualcomm partnership even has seamless emulation layer that lets you execute 32bit x86 windows binaries as is. They're on their 3rd or 4th gen now and there's even a Surface ARM laptop running it on the market.

          I highly doubt that Windows will just become some kind of new desktop UI theme that goes ontop of Linux.

          What I mean by "They tried both and are still trying" is that, like Google's ChromeOS, Android and Fuchsia, Microsoft current business culture leaves room for conflicting porting efforts, linux efforts, emulation efforts, hardware solutions, cloud solutions, remote desktop solutions, etc...

          So, for instance, it can start as an attempt to get windows binaries executing on Azure remote desktop instances, grow into a ChromeOS-like embedded laptop solution, and end up as a proper desktop. Or maybe they'll just rebrand EdgeOS at first and add some windows remote tooling... Either way, like how they're already releasing a linux distro for the cloud and another distro for WSL2, it's not too farfetched for them to aim something for desktops and have it grow to a fairly complete windows replacement.

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      • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:41PM (2 children)

        by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @03:41PM (#1059073)

        But combined with their cloud interests and looking at what they've been upstreaming and open sourcing, it's strongly leaning towards an Android-like, Windows-style .NET user-land running on a linux kernel.

        This. If Microsoft's moves toward embracing Linux mean the death of anything, it's Windows Server. If you're Microsoft, making the next Windows Server be Linux-based, but with a complete .NET userland and all the Microsoft-backed solutions like SQL Server, would be a great way to simplify Azure and bring Windows shops and normal people together onto one platform.

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        If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:16PM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:16PM (#1059103)

          Nothing going to die. They'll just gradually reduce the maintaining team until it's 3 semi-employed seniors sharing office space with the COBOL development staff.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:25PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @07:25PM (#1059166)

            lmao

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by dltaylor on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:18AM

    by dltaylor (4693) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @09:18AM (#1058973)

    People continue to misunderstand what bringing Edge to Linux does for Microsoft.

    #1 Businesses will standardize on Edge, both internally (IE is too much pain), and externally. Web sites will optimize for Edge, and if your privacy-oriented browser doesn't work, too bad. Get the supported browser. This saves development / test time, and, therefore money.

    #2 All of the telemetry now going to Google will be sent to Microsoft. Cha-ching!!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:10PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:10PM (#1059037)

    Linux Journal?

    Don't think so mate. The goal here is to take credit for Linux and try and rebrand it as a service. More likely is a whole bunch of "paid" volunteers are now showing up as developers for core libs, and sticking microsoft code in places it doesn't belong. After a few years, there will be some lawsuits, which will compel distro maintainers to either fold or to come under the MS banner.

    SSDD

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:27PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:27PM (#1059046) Journal

      Don't forget that Microsoft also acquired The Linux Foundation.

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      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:31PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 30 2020, @02:31PM (#1059048) Journal

    Developer builds for Linux using WSL, because:
    * the first hit is free
    * it's deliciously addictively easy

    Then, developer finds out:
    OH NO! It doesn't work on Linux for production!

    Manager says:
    Hey, let's just change production to use WSL sewers servers!

    Everyone happy.

    BTW, this is similar to what Microsoft did with Java that got them sued by Sun for $1.2 Billion. The black letter contract said that Microsoft could not modify anything in the java.* namespace. But Microsoft did anyway. Why? Because developers would use these "unique" Windows-only extensions, which were deliciously sweetly addictive, and then only later discover that their Java program would not run on anything but Windows.

    --
    I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by srobert on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:16PM

    by srobert (4803) on Wednesday September 30 2020, @05:16PM (#1059104)
  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Thursday October 01 2020, @01:23AM

    by Mykl (1112) on Thursday October 01 2020, @01:23AM (#1059313)

    Microsoft giving up on the Windows codebase and switching to Linux? Rather than Eric Raymond writing this in his blog, he should probably have put it in some weird sub-fetish area of Literotica.com

    It sounds like a pure jerk-off fantasy to me.

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