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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: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:06AM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:06AM (#895933)

    Microsoft is going to have developers work on Wine to bring it up to full compatibility with Windows applications. This will allow a smooth, seamless transition.

    When pigs fly...

    Microsoft wants to reduce development costs associated with the Windows kernel and this would allow development costs to be shared with other Linux users.

    Jobs already did this with OS-X 15+ years ago, it was a smart play - for him, in his circumstance.

    I don't see Microsoft abandoning the desktop for another 15 years, maybe by 2035 - when Windows 11 really does come out - we will see some pigs flying, but it will take quite a while from today.

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  • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Thursday September 19 2019, @07:26AM (1 child)

    by loonycyborg (6905) on Thursday September 19 2019, @07:26AM (#896007)

    m$ is moving to SAAS model and having a SAAS OS is clearly inappropriate. Having people with locked computers only because they forgot(or can't afford anymore) to pay for subscription is bad PR. Yet getting only single payment per install will eventually run dry due to saturation, which SAAS model is supposed to combat. So they definitely would want to focus their resources on SAAS products. Reusing entire linux stack for this would reduce maintenance burden a lot. So I don't see how it's different from Jobs' situation.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday September 19 2019, @12:35PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday September 19 2019, @12:35PM (#896063)

      So they definitely would want to focus their resources on SAAS products. Reusing entire linux stack for this would reduce maintenance burden a lot. So I don't see how it's different from Jobs' situation.

      Pride, for one thing. Continued lock in of niche markets which are bigger than OS-X has ever been, for another.

      The wind is blowing toward SAAS pretty strongly now, but not enough to blow out the Windows desktop profit margin.

      Things like the Linux shell in Windows point more toward an opening of Windows for cross platform compatibility, ensuring they don't get locked out of too many niche markets by software that "only runs on *nix." And, the lack of licensing hassle for inclusion of Linux tech makes it tremendously easier for Windows to include Linux features than vice-versa ala Wine.

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