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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 Runaway1956 on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:31PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:31PM (#896140) Journal

    Hang on a second. "when they threw Windows on top of it" means what, exactly? "single user userland on top of a multi-user kernel". Isn't that what we have on Linux? 17 people* could all be logged into my Debian machine, and I couldn't follow what they are doing, unless I invoke super-user privileges. Users are separate and distinct, and they can't manipulate each other's stuff, unless that stuff is explicitly shared.

    *17 people can also be logged into Windows, but they can't all be active at the same time, unless they are running a server OS. I've tried it on home, student, and pro versions - it just doesn't work.

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  • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday September 20 2019, @01:14AM

    by dry (223) on Friday September 20 2019, @01:14AM (#896329) Journal

    NT was originally designed to have various personalities or sub-systems running on the kernel, originally OS/2, Windows and Posix and I assume the Posix personality was quite capable of having multiple users logged in and each having their own shell, much the same as your Debian system. The Windows subsystem just wasn't designed for that. It might have been possible under the OS/2 subsystem and running Citrix, which at the time only ran on OS/2 and only supported text mode.
    Today you might be able to run the Xserver or a terminal on NT under the new Linux subsystem and have multiple people logged in with permissions keeping them separate.