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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 18 2019, @02:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the you're-crazy dept.

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.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @03:31PM (15 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @03:31PM (#895689)

    I suspect if Windows switched to a Linux kernel all those Windows based games wouldn't work, which would eliminate the sole reason I keep one Windows instance running. I'll hold on to my Windows 7 and Windows 10 media to make sure I can continue to use the software I've purchased.

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  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday September 18 2019, @03:47PM (8 children)

    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @03:47PM (#895696) Homepage Journal

    I suspect if Windows switched to a Linux kernel all those Windows based games wouldn't work, which would eliminate the sole reason I keep one Windows instance running.

    What's wrong with using Proton / SteamPlay to play Windows games under Linux?

    --
    If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:05PM (6 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:05PM (#895704)

      What's wrong with using Proton / SteamPlay to play Windows games under Linux?

      I do use my Linux box as a game machine through Steam, and the short answer is: sucky selection. Lots of stuff does work through Steam/Linux, more stuff than I have the time to play, but... lots more stuff doesn't. If you're dead-set on playing certain titles, then you are indeed locked into the OSs that they support, and in the world of gaming, Windows is still the #1 supported OS by a WIDE margin.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:45PM (5 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:45PM (#895791) Homepage Journal

        Maybe not every game, but for me enough of my favorite games worked well enough to create a tipping point to completely end the abusive relationship with M$. I kept an installation for a while but all the slurping stuff and general change of direction creeped me out to the point that I didn't want that running on any of my machines, air-gapped or not. It's nice to have the extra disk space as well! For the really old games there's also DOSBox.

        --
        If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:37PM (1 child)

          by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:37PM (#895805) Journal

          Mod +1 Congratulations!

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:42PM

            by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:42PM (#895811) Homepage Journal

            Of course I'm sure the Steam client is slurping too, but hey, what can you do? We're all fucked either way.

            --
            If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:06PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:06PM (#895834)

          Blizzard.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:20PM (1 child)

            by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:20PM (#895873) Homepage Journal

            Ah. I don't like games that are online only even if I do play online occasionally. I generally prefer single player (or LAN).

            --
            If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:15AM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:15AM (#895943)

              Sorry, Starcraft I addict here - had to play Starcraft II when it came out, but, yeah, that online thing does chafe. They made it "make sense" with Hearthstone, but like all Freemium games that too eventually chafed - but I have to give them credit, I liked Hearthstone for over a year - I don't think I've ever played another Freemium more than a few days.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:08PM (#895707)

      That doesn't work for all games. I use a VM for a lot of games that don't work well under wine.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:12PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:12PM (#895711) Journal

    all those Windows based games wouldn't work

    And this would be a bad thing how?

    And you're suggesting that they "work" now?

    --
    The lower I set my standards the more accomplishments I have.
  • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:57PM (1 child)

    by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @04:57PM (#895728)

    They could do WSL in reverse. It would basically be WINE, but backed up by a huge organization with intimate knowledge of the closed-source half of the translation.

    This raises a huge issue, though. What happens to DirectX? Microsoft sure isn't going to abandon it, but how would they implement it in Linux without being required to open source the implementation?

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:52PM (#895824)

      i've long advocated for a LSW so that people could use linux with their proprietary crapware from the 90's that they are stuck on for biz purposes. if MS rebased to linux just imagine the hardware support. if they helped with a LSW small businesses all over the world could switch to GNU/Linux!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @05:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @05:42PM (#895750)

    They created Windows RT, which is not the most compatible version of Windows, and WinCE, which is something else entirely, and Embedded Windows. But keeping the media for old versions is never a bad idea; even XP has an occasional use.

    With regard to MS, the kernel in Windows is probably the only thing that was written by professionals; it works. Microsoft's problems are in software that sits on top of the kernel. Not sure if there is a reason to change the kernel, as it is pretty advanced for the year 2000, has many power saving levels, drivers are massively asynchronous. On the other hand, you cannot run it on any toaster; they support only Intel and ARM; the drivers are very complex; the kernel's features are frozen in time.

    If MS does the switch, games may not even see the difference. On Windows all a game can do is to ask an API to do something for it. At most, send IOCTL's to a driver. Most likely, they need only SDL or an equivalent. And sound. They need a working sound. Might be a problem on Linux :-)

  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:43PM (1 child)

    by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:43PM (#895856) Homepage Journal

    Or wine would get a whole fuckload better after MS started contributing directly to it.

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19 2019, @12:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19 2019, @12:54AM (#895924)

      or Wine would quit running certain old software, like old versions of MS-Office...