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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, @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 :-)

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