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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:24PM (#895782)

    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...

    Windows has always been like this. Before the auto-updates, it would sometimes crash/corrupt whenever you installed new software. MS mostly "solved" this by using auto-updates to patch such bugs more often, but patches can F things up also even without new apps.

    They've had insufficient competition and it shows. MS may even decide to gradually abandon the consumer market so they don't create too much ill will via consumers with screwy Windows. Consumer sales are growing less profitable for them anyhow. They seem to want to be the New IBM: control the biz market.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:25PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @07:25PM (#895783)

    They should go one step forward and open source the whole thing.
    Sure, rebase it on Linux but also... open source the desktop environment and all included programs.
    They've taken baby steps here and there.
    It's time to plunge in.

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:47PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:47PM (#895816) Journal

      Beautiful dream.

      Except that this misses the ... before the last step of Profit!, which until Microsoft becomes a non-profit entity that last step an absolute requirement (at least on average for the company).

      even if Microsoft was a not-for-profit it would have to find a way to meet expenses. and there's nothing here saying how they'd get to there.

      --
      This sig for rent.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:24PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:24PM (#895798)

    Visual Studio has always been one of Microsoft's most important products. And it too has lately been falling victim to Microsoft's increasingly poor production quality. I've been using Visual Studio for literally decades now. And in the past few years I've noticed an increasingly large number of "glitches" including crashes, freezes, and UI deadlock. In other words I don't think Microsoft is intentionally tanking their desktop OS. They simply don't seem capable of producing reliable code anymore. Yeah yeah, there's a joke there somewhere - but everything is relative. Windows 7 is still a phenomenal operating system and it was also, obviously, developed by Microsoft.

    Take on a Linux core and you'd see there problems explode by orders of magnitude simply because they'd be left with developers, who already seem somewhat incapable, left in what is likely a foreign environment.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:00PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:00PM (#895831)

      windows 7 is a piece of shit. it just stank less than vista.

      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:58PM (2 children)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:58PM (#895866)

        Windows 7 was OK, but not as good as Win XP SP3 which was peak Windows.

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

        I don't because that time never really existed.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:52PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:52PM (#896148) Journal

          I disagree with the "peak Windows" bit. The wife's Win7 seems to be XP SP3 polished up. Problems with XP SP3 were relatively rare, in comparison with all the Windows before it. But, Win7 seems problem-free. Let's discount that auto-upgrade thing, since we sidestepped that nonsense. Win 8 does seem to be a step down from 7, and Win 10 is a definite jump into a deep gully from 7.

          • (Score: 2) by toddestan on Friday September 20 2019, @04:03AM

            by toddestan (4982) on Friday September 20 2019, @04:03AM (#896383)

            Peak Windows was Windows 2000 SP4. XP was basically Windows 2000 dumbed down a bit, but luckily could be made to be mostly like Windows 2000. Windows 7 had promise, but it went from a slightly better Vista to a "we don't care about Windows 7 anymore, upgrade to Windows 10" pretty quick.

            Sadly, Windows 8 actually seemed to fix a lot of the under the hood type issues I had with Windows 7 and was definitely snappier, but was stuck with that half-baked, terrible UI.

            Windows 10 is just a disaster.

            With that said, my main Windows box runs Windows 7.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:58PM (3 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:58PM (#895827) Journal

    Get 'em hooked on the stuff, then change the license so they can't use it anymore: GPL version whatever....fine print says "Cannot be used by Microsoft, a subsidiary or any other company that is/was Microsoft or has in any way or form business or connection with Microsoft or any version of Microsoft, no matter if changed by name or sale, FOREVER!"

    Fuck Microsoft or subsidiary or any other company that is/was Microsoft or has in any way or form business or connection with Microsoft or any version of Microsoft, no matter if changed by name or sale.

    And fuck Microsoft Beta...you know its coming...

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:48PM

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:48PM (#895860) Homepage Journal

      Now now, they make a perfectly serviceable solitaire game.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:09PM (1 child)

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:09PM (#895869) Journal

      Unless you can get all the contributors to agree to the license change, or rewrite all the parts that you can't get permission from, you're stuck with GPL v2. Easier to start from scratch, since there will always be grey areas. But Microsoft will not rebase off Linux. Why should they - Apple showed how to do it using FreeBSD. They can mod all they want, redistribute all they want, and not release any source. More legal certainty.

      --
      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:39PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:39PM (#895876) Journal

        Oh, I know all that.....but mines funnier! ;)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:44AM

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:44AM (#895957) Journal

    Okay, you're crazy. Happy now? No? Geez, there's no pleasing some people.

    After reading the opinion piece, I'd call it silly. But you can keep the "crazy" label ... fair compromise? No? Geez, there's really no pleasing some people.

    How about a swap. Well call you silly, and the article crazy. No? Geez ...

    --
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
  • (Score: 2) by hwertz on Thursday September 19 2019, @06:41AM

    by hwertz (8141) on Thursday September 19 2019, @06:41AM (#896002)

    "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."

    Well, the NT kernel does not help. But, the real problem with Windows as it stands is the way the different subsystems, layers, compatibility layers, addons, and additional layers, are not cleanly seperated from each other. Google "Linux versus Windows system call graph", this is admittedly about 10 years old but shows this vividly; Apache on Linux making one HTTP request, a lot more goes on than one might suspect, but Apache makes some high-level calls, these calls make lower level calls, and those may make another layer of calls that actually get stuff off the disk and toss it onto the ethernet. IIS+Windows, the graph really looks like a big ball of spaghetti, with ciruclar dependencies, points where a high level call goes straight to very low level, points where low level calls jump back up to calling a high level call, and so on.

    There are two paths Microsoft "could" use for a Linux-based Windows 11 though.

    One, "managed code" -- this is admittedly cleanly seperated from the mess of Windows underneath it. But, Microsoft already has tried to push a move to manged code apps, and it's gone over like a lead balloon.

    Two, wine. For those not aware, (probably due to Valve working on it for their Linux-based Steam boxes), wine is now quite good at running Windows games (probably running more than Win7 or 10, due to being compatible with older games Win7 and 10 aren't while also being able to run modern games) along with other Windows applications. Since the GNU/Linux stuff is nicely modular, they could reasonably use Linux kernel, wine, and the xorg/mesa3d graphics stack (or xorg + nvidia driver for nvidia cards...) while ditching the rest of a typical linux distro in favor of their own graphical shell and apps, if they wished to.

  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday September 19 2019, @08:22AM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday September 19 2019, @08:22AM (#896015)

    Game developers might be more likely to create GNU Linux native versions of their games if they already had to wrote for a GNU Linux based OS anyway.

    And then those of us who keep around a Windwos box for the sole reason of playing that one game the we love that doesn't work with WINE can finally dump Windwos once and for all.

    Just a thought. (fingers crossed)

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:03PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday September 19 2019, @01:03PM (#896070) Journal

    You are crazy.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19 2019, @07:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19 2019, @07:58PM (#896234)

    It's not that nobody cares, it's that Microsoft is now stuffed with needful doers. All you had to do was look at what was appointed CEO. Once enough needful doers take over management, all they hire is other needful doers, and your company is doomed.

    When will the tech industry learn?

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