back to article Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

Open-source software advocate Eric S Raymond has penned an argument that the triumph of Linux on the desktop is imminent because Microsoft will soon tire of Windows. Raymond's argument, posted to his blog late last week, kicked off with some frank admiration for Windows Subsystem For Linux, the tech that lets Linux binaries …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Edge using chromium

    I’m not a programmer, but didn’t porting edge to chromium then make it far easier to port to Linux, Mac etc.

    I wouldn’t look at porting an open source implementation to linux the sand as porting the whole of the os.

    1. matjaggard

      Re: Edge using chromium

      Yes but that's just why it makes sense to choose it as a small trial project

      1. alcalde

        Re: Edge using chromium

        It's not a trial of anything. Earlier, Microsoft asked Linux programmers if they were interested in Edge. Only after getting a large positive response did they then announce that they would port it to Linux. The reality is that according to Stack Overflow surveys, development on Windows has fallen to below 50% for a few years now. Hence, not having Edge on Linux would lose Microsoft more mindshare with developers (a reason they bought Github). Edge on Linux helps ensure that web apps are tested to run correctly in Edge. That's it. Raymond's assertion that the only reasonable explanation is that they intend to run all of Windows on top of Linux is absurd. Heck, the success and continued improvements to WSL show that if they intend anything it's to run all of Linux within Windows.

        1. oldcoder

          Re: Edge using chromium

          It still has all of the Windows insecurity and failures, and almost none of the Linux performance or security.

        2. popasu

          Re: Edge using chromium

          I was not aware of those Stack Overflow survey, finding that "development on Windows has fallen to below 50% for a few years now".

          Do you have a link to any of them?

          Thanks!

    2. binary
      FAIL

      Re: Edge using chromium

      I drink Coke, never Pepsi because Pepsi is an imitation who wants to be as big as Coke. I use Chrome and not Edge because, Edge is an imitation who wants to be as big as Chrome. The whole Windows should be rewritten using the more efficient Linux then, I'll consider it.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
        Meh

        Re: Edge using chromium

        From a cashflow point of view, Coke has been the smaller player for some time. Although to be fair that's because Pepsi is pretty much the world leader in potato crisps... (Walkers? Pepsi. Lays? Pepsi. About the only brand they don't own is Golden Wonder... so far)

        1. Screwed

          Re: Edge using chromium

          Seabrook. Owned by Calbee.

      2. Proton_badger

        Re: Edge using chromium

        It doesn't really matter which browser you use. Google is taking over the world wide web, pushing its own standards onto it. Anybody using a Blink based web browser is helping the WWW becoming the Google Wide Web.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Edge using chromium

          No different to what Netscape did back in the 90s. They were responsible for every 3rd web page in the 90s being an epileptics nightmare with the Blink tag.

      3. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Edge using chromium

        I tried to follow your analogy but all I could think of is the fact that Pepsi is delicious and how much better it is than Coke.

        1. logicalextreme Silver badge

          Re: Edge using chromium

          All of you downvoters are monsters. You probably prefer Dairy Milk to Galaxy and strangle kittens.

          1. The Indomitable Gall

            Re: Edge using chromium

            Puppies are better than kittens.

    3. J27 Bronze badge

      Re: Edge using chromium

      Yes, it probably doesn't require hardly any work at all. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have an internal Linux build the whole time.

      1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

        "I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have an internal Linux build the whole time."...

        ...Judging by how chummy MS is with Canonical these days I'd say "They do, it's Ubuntu"

      2. AlbertH

        Re: Edge using chromium

        Yes, it probably doesn't require hardly any work at all. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have an internal Linux build the whole time.

        Microsoft have finally woken up to the truth of their situation. Windows is just a poor, proprietary client for a Unix / Linux world, and has been for years.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

    for the Linux Kernel team should this happen.

    MS will want more and more control of the underlying layers. I fully expect that the core of Kernel Devs will shrink and be replaced by MS people. Linus will be pushed out and the job will be done... well part of it.

    I see their next task as taking key parts of the kernel out of GPL. Us refuseniks will still be able to build a working kernel but more and more key elements will be for MS licencees only. As they extend this, there will be parts of the open source kernel that is simply left behind to fester and die. A group will be formed to keep it alove but their job will become harder and harder and eventually they'll give up from lack of funding.

    Then Redmond's job will be done and we'll all be beholden to Microsoft (as well as paying them money for patches). The only place left to go will be BSD.

    Yes, this is a worst case scenario but...

    It is up to everyone to stop them taking over and bleeding it try.

    1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      I would agree with you, but they cannot take components out from under the GPL, not legally at least unless the person who wrote the code and all the people who modified it agree. I don't see that happening any time soon.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
        Trollface

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        Don"t worry, just say it is because of "national security" and the 48th President of the USA (Donald John Trump) will gladly do it.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          Any particular reason you & your ilk feel you have to shoehorn politics and your Trump-hate into Every. Single. Topic?

          1. AK565

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            Oh, I can answer that. ;-)

            Trump doing those things totally matches his established behaviour patterns. Give him enough time and he'll claim he invented it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Meh

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            You can rest easy knowning that the dipshit is dumb enough to not know how presidential numbering works.

      2. overunder Silver badge

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        "I don't see that happening any time soon.

        Never will. This would open Microsoft up to a code auditing lawsuit specifically for copyright infringement.

        SCO vs. IBM proved that when it's time to dig down, they'll step away and step away fast as they left MS_PROXY SCO out in the wind, MS didn't make a peep. It comes down to answering who pay$. If Microsoft finds an infringement, who pays? But if Microsoft is found infringing, that answer is blistering obvious.

        You could argue they're poisoning the well, but they too now go to that well, so...

      3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
        Windows

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        I think he means that they will replace GPL modules with proprietary ones, and then stop supporting the GPL ones (or even breaking things so the GPL modules are no longer compatible). Not quite the same as "taking components out of the GPL", but has much the same effect.

        In a way, although I don't think it's the most likely option, it wouldn't surprise me, as it would just be the old "embrace, extend, extinguish" playbook all over again.

        That said, I don't think they would actually replace Windows with Linux unless Windows started to lose money of hand over fist.

        1. AlbertH

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          I don't think they would actually replace Windows with Linux unless Windows started to lose money of hand over fist.

          They haven't made money from Windows for years. Their core businesses are "Office" and "Office 365" - software as a service was seen as the approach that would rake in zillions, but "365" is anything but successful.

      4. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        GPL or not is irrelevant. The issue is manpower, and he who can bring the biggest amount of manpower to bear will end up controlling it, even if it is open source. Linux has got this far merely because Linus has been at the head of a small army of the willing who have been happy to have him in charge. Someone comes along with a bigger army of devs, they can take it in a direction that many users may find compelling but is not easily replicated by the original team.

        Look at file systems; Linux hasn’t got anything better than ext4, whereas ZFS is available to anyone who can stand its license, Apple now has afs and even MS are waking up to replacing btrfs.

        Look at how RedHat have got systemd into more or less every distro by having control of Gnome and making that require systemd, which they also control.

      5. Norman Nescio

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        I would agree with you, but they cannot take components out from under the GPL, not legally at least unless the person who wrote the code and all the people who modified it agree. I don't see that happening any time soon.

        I'm sure Microsoft are eyeing what Red Hat did with systemd and wondering how to apply the same strategy, except with non-GPL software. Google did the same with Android: a free, libre, kernel, but Google Play Services binds people nicely into the Google ecosystem.

        Windows as a proprietary 'Google Play Services' layer on top of the Linux kernel is entirely possible, and reduces the amount of money needed to develop and maintain the operating system. Linux will have 'won', but if the end-user experience requires the proprietary layer on top, it isn't free.

        Google/Alphabet appear to be keeping their options open so they have the technical ability to replace Linux with Fucsia (or similar), should the need arise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      >>> The only place left to go will be BSD.

      Good.

      Linux already emulates Windows very well - a collossal train wreck of ugly hacks, shonky patches and bloatware. Any OS responsible for horrors like systemd deserves to die.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        The OS is responsible for the systemd-cancer? Interesting concept. Please elucidate.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          It's getting hard to find a distro that doesn't use systemd. In consequence it will be increasingly common to find applications assuming that one of other of its tentacles is available for use.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            "It's getting hard to find a distro that doesn't use systemd."

            Slackware still works quite nicely. Perhaps your definition of "hard" doesn't match mine?

            "In consequence it will be increasingly common to find applications assuming that one of other of its tentacles is available for use."

            I have heard many people make this claim. However, io date I have not found that to be an issue even one time. As I said, Slackware still works quite nicely.

            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              > ...to date I have not found that to be an issue even one time.

              Correct me if I am wrong: Gnome desktop (IIRC under Debian).

              Of course there is Devuan, not having systemd and this dependency.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                Fair enough. But then I run Slackware, which not only doesn't ship with the systemd-cancer, it also doesn't ship with Gnome. Both for very good reasons, I might add.

              2. Never10_use_Puppylinux
                Devil

                Re: No SystemD? Look at GhostBSD with MATE or XFCE desktop

                GhostBSD has a telegram group. You can download an .ISO file and burn to USB Flash drive and test boot up the live image on your computer and see if you like this BSD. Take a few minutes and check it out as a replacement for your daily driver.

                No SystemD, use OpenRC to start systems. Based on FreeBSD 12.1 Stable but from GhostBSD controlled repository. Gnome HOSTed BSD, uses MATE desktop.

                Thanks for the consideration of useful BSD, if you don't like SystemD.

                Yes, I use Manjaro Linux installed to SSD, BTW. ;>) and Puppylinux frugal install from a USB flash drive. So not Linux adverse here. Use the OS that works for your work flow needs.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              Yes, Jake. I know about Slackware. Personally I use Devuan. But these are not the mainstream distros. It's more likely that anyone developing mainstream applications will be using Ubuntu or one of its derivatives - it seems to be getting quite common to see .debs offered for Ubuntu but not Debian.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                Oh. I didn't realize that a distro had to be mainstream to be counted. My bad.

                Remind me again what "mainstream" means? I'd hate to make that mistake again.

                As a side note, converting between the major distribution formats is fairly trivial ... there is nothing magical about a .deb or RPM ... or a tarball, for that matter.

                1. ICL1900-G3
                  Headmaster

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  Downvoted for 'my bad`.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                    Clearly, Sir, you are absolutely correct. Despite being in widespread use since at least the 1970s, the phrase "my bad" has no place in the English Language. Here's a list of 500 of the posts made to ElReg containing the phrase during the last decade plus, obviously they all need downvoting posthaste! I assume you will get right on it.

                    During the meanwhile, we must figure out exactly where the English Language must be frozen in time in order to appease you ... I assume that would have to be prior to the works of one William Shakespeare, who wrote in Sonnet 112:

                    Your love and pity doth the impression fill

                    Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;

                    For what care I who calls me well or ill,

                    So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?

                    Ah, well. All the world's a stage, and everyone a critic ... WAIT! The word "critic" was a new term in 1590s English, so I guess that's right out, too ... Mea Culpa. (Presumably I can use the Latin version of "my bad" without fear of your wrath?)

                    1. AK565

                      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                      So if we use the Bard as our cutoff point, we're essentially left with Everyman to work with, unless we want to go back to Chaucer. Alternatively, we could look to Yola and Fingalian. A third possibility is is going the Aenglisc/Anglish route and eliminating all words and syntax of Latin origin. This last might be the easiest as many have already made inroads.

          2. yossarianuk

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            The beauty of Linux (and open source in general) is that people can fork things if they do not like the direction of a project.

            Its not like Windows or Mac where you could be actively prevented running/changing a component of the OS.

            There are several systemd free distros..

            - Devuan (debian based)

            - Void

            - Slackware

            - Gentoo

            - GUIX

            - Artix Linux (arch based)

            Probably many others.

            Personally for all its faults I have got used to it now and can see advantages compared to past init systems (I quite liked upstart )

            1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              I have got used to it now and can see advantages

              Same here. I particularly like the way that when I accidentally type 'sudo systemctl disable someservice' and then also accidentally type my password, it saves my from myself by giving output that seems like it's disabled someservice, but not actually disabling it. This intuitive feature has saved me from having free memory on a bunch of occasions.

              1. Proton_badger

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                That's unfortunate. If the command does not remove the symbolic link for starting the service at boot as indicated in the documentation that's a bad thing. Perhaps a bug have been raised?

                Personally I like it as well. I spent a few hours reading up on how it works and investigating the commands and find it very practical. The unit files are great as well.

                1. ibmalone Silver badge

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  You eventually get fed up tossing bugs into the bottomless pit of WONTFIX. (Or spending time troubleshooting to find at the bottom of the pile a shrivelled up dusty WONTFIX from five years ago.)

                  1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

                    Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                    Yeah pretty much this. I gave up filing bugs against pottering garbage sometime around ~2015 maybe.

                    The one that sticks in my mind is the time I was told that the reason why pulseaudio uses a bunch of processor time redundantly doing software mixing even though I have dedicated hardware specifically designed to do that exact job is because piss off you dumb user you shouldn't have pulseaudio installed if you have a multichannel sound card, duh. This despite the fact that it's installed and active by default with most distros, and that some software only targets pulseaudio *cough*firefox*cough*.

                    Somehow that bug wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back, but I don't remember the details of the one that did.

                    But I'd be happy to file a new bug for pottering to ignore if that's what you'd like me to do. My consulting rate is $100 per hour or part thereof. I estimate that I'll be able to collate a bug report for you in 10 hours or less. Please send through your billing address and a note saying "I wish to engage your consulting services and accept the rates you have advised" and I'll get right on it.

                    1. FatGerman

                      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                      Ha! Mine was "network sinks randomly use 100% CPU when idle" to which the response was "why are they idle? Audio subsystems are for playing audio". Like "how dare you install pulseaudio then go to sleep?"

                      Since someone else took over Pulseaudio it has actually become quite good.

                      Likewise systemd isn't terrible to those of us not emotionally wedded to a bunch of unintelligible shell scripts. So long as we don't attempt to report bugs,

                      1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

                        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                        How dare you fall asleep while listening to an audiobook! :O

                        emotionally wedded to a bunch of unintelligible shell scripts

                        Ha. I just wrote a rant about that minutes ago. It's not emotional at all, it's a simple case of not seeing any need for a new, unnecessary, less-flexible domain specific language when a generic one that everyone already knows will do just fine.

                        They're only unintelligible if you don't know bash. And if you don't know bash then you're not qualified to be administering a Linux system.

                2. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist
                  Mushroom

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  You're right though, the unit files are great. I've earned thousands of dollars just reading the documentation and trying to figure out which particular magical keywords need to go in which particular magical files. And I'll earn thousands more doing it all over again, because I can't remember any of it due to the specificity of the DSL and the infrequent schedule on which I'm forced to use it. It really is great.

                  But I think the best thing about unit files is that they save you from having to make the effort to become competent at a well-established, ubiquitous, super simple, massively documented shell scripting language that anyone administering a Linux system should already know and use every day and which has 30+ years of testing and use and bugfixes under its belt. That sounds hard.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                "seems like it's disabled someservice, but not actually disabling it. "

                ^^THIS!^^

                At the very least systemctl should throw an error giving some clue as to WHY it is not disabling a service.

                1. FatGerman

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  sudo systemctl disable this-service-does-not-exist

                  [sudo] password for *****:

                  Failed to disable unit: Unit file this-service-does-not-exist.service does not exist.

                  Methinks you maybe haven't looked at it in, say, a couple of years?

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  "seems like it's disabled someservice, but not actually disabling it. "

                  "At the very least systemctl should throw an error giving some clue as to WHY it is not disabling a service."

                  I believe the initial complaint is about what it does do when the service exists, namely it disables it. Disabling it means that it removes the service's links which determine whether that service will be started under conditions like a reboot or a change in level. It doesn't stop a service. The reason I think that's the complaint is the mention of high memory usage; I'm guessing the problem here is that the disabled service is still running because systemd hasn't had cause to restart services. The command to stop a service is "systemctl stop someservice" although you can combine them by specifying disable with --now. I have retrieved this information from systemctl's man page which includes a warning that disable doesn't mean stop.

                  Now it may be argued that a command called disable should both disable the service from being automatically started and stop it now, but the documentation is clear that it doesn't do that. I am not here to praise systemd; I don't much care whether you like it or hate it. There are real bugs in it which are annoying and I'd like to see patched. Still, if the problem you have is what commands look like, you can't really call that a bug. Disable disables and stop stops. Want to create a disablestop or modify disable? Fine with me, but file it under changes and not bug fixes.

                  1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

                    Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                    I believe the initial complaint is about what it does do when the service exists,

                    Yep

                    namely it disables it

                    Nope.

                    Disabling ...(snip)...doesn't stop a service

                    Indeed. And as a bonus feature it also doesn't disable if it doesn't feel like it!

                    The whole "we decided that 'disable' doesn't mean what the word 'disable' means" thing is also a problem. But it's not the problem I'm talking about - I can read a (needlessly huge because everything has been needlessly combined into one command which is needlessly named extremely similarly to the preexisting 'sysctl' command) man page.

                    The problem I'm talking about is when I disable containerd, and then later I reboot, and then later I notice containerd is running, so I disable containerd even though I'm pretty sure I already did that a few days ago, and then I kill containerd, and then disable containerd again just to be sure, and then reboot, and then notice containerd is running, and then consult man to make sure that I'm using the right command, and then disable containerd, and then kill containerd, and repeat that sequence 47 times, and finally get tired and just uninstall docker and containerd because I'm not really using them on that machine anyway. And then when the same thing happens for mysql, rather than going through the loop of frustration again I just install devuan and the totally-not-a-bug magically goes away.

                    But I'm sure that somehow that's a bug in containerd and mysql, or maybe in the kernel or microsoft office. I'm sure it's not a bug in systemd. Or that it's my fault for expecting ''disable' to actually do the thing it says it's doing in the output and that man says it should do. It's probably that I'm a dumbass and not that this new piece of bleeding edge software written by someone with a track record of writing dogshit, is dogshit.

                    I'd look into it further, but I'd rather pull my teeth out using something sharp and rusty, and the systemd guys still haven't sent through that billing info.

                    The command to stop a service is "systemctl stop someservice" although you can combine them by specifying disable with --now

                    As an aside and while I'm feeling ranty, I love that "disable" doesn't mean stop, but "disable now" does. Yay for consistency! This is not at all completely backwards and self-contradictory. It's simple and intuitive: the default behaviour is to defer disabling until reboot (because otherwise you'd be doing it now). But there's a helpful option to tell it to disable now, which stops. But disable doesn't mean stop - there's a special note in the man page telling you this, duh, you dumb user.

                    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                      Pint

                      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                      Just this. --->

              3. logicalextreme Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                I've mercifully not had any problems with it since jumping from 14.04 to 18.04 a couple of years ago, but from this behaviour it sounds like systemd and the newly cross-platform Powershell are a match made in heaven!

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              As I replied to Jake, I use Devuan. However, it was about 11 months between the release of the upstream, Debian Buster and Devuan Beowulf as stable. Of the two which is going to be used fro application development?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                "Of the two which is going to be used fro application development?"

                Quite honestly. it shouldn't matter. make install should work on any distribution put together by sane maintainers. If it doesn't, I humbly suggest either the code you are trying to install, or the distribution you are trying to install it on has been gotten at by Marketing with the explicit intent to tie you to whatever their flavo(u)r of the month is.

          3. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            "It's getting hard to find a distro that doesn't use systemd. "

            Then you can't be looking very hard. As jake says slackware is free of the systemd taint and so is PCLinusOS. I don't know if Patrick Volkerding has any thoughts on moving to systemd but TexStar will definitely not.

            It is true that a lot of distros acted like lemmings and adopted systemd but this being Linux there is always a choice.

            1. TVU

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              "It is true that a lot of distros acted like lemmings and adopted systemd but this being Linux there is always a choice"

              I don't think that's being entirely fair not least because (and much to my surprise) it was Debian that voted to adopt systemd and that decision then affected all the downstream distributions. I wish it had been otherwise.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                Did you read what you typed in the context of what you quoted before hitting submit?

          4. Mike Moyle Silver badge

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            I will admit that I am not a Linux expert, so I'm asking in all seriousness: To all the posters saying there are plenty of distros that don't use systemd -- how many of them are ones that you'd be happy to give to your non-techy parents or your great-aunt Lucy? Because, as I've said before, Linux won't be mainstream until those people can just sit down and do the things they want to do. Ignoring for the moment the stories we all know of people who are completely atechnical ("Point and click? What's that?"), most people who learn to use Windows once can - for the most part - go anywhere else, sit down at a computer, and do their thing. With a plethora of distros, desktops, etc., Linux doesn't have that, if you will, enforced simplicity.

            Now, if -- and I stress *IF* MS were to be able to use its well-known "embrace, extend, and extinguish" strategy to, as has been suggested, create a familiar shell that, e.g., uses systemd, the fact that it acts like the Windows that average users (Hi, Aunt Lucy!) are used to implies that it will become the default distro for new computers sold to private consumers, businesses, libraries, etc. This puts other distros where they have always been; as also-rans used primarily by the techy/enthusiast markets.

            And, as we have seen multiple times in living memory, the user interface - the look and feel -- are cooyrightable, limiting how closely the Winux interface could be imitated.

            Which puts us back where we started, only this time with a Windows-branded Linux as the proverbial 800-pound gorilla for the consumer market and numerous (relatively) little-used forks sweeping up the leftovers.

            What am I missing?

            1. Greybearded old scrote

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              How about the fact that Apple lost the copyright case?

            2. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              I'd throw my Aunt Lucy infront of a chromebook ...

            3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              "To all the posters saying there are plenty of distros that don't use systemd -- how many of them are ones that you'd be happy to give to your non-techy parents or your great-aunt Lucy?"

              Ignoring the implied ageism - I may well be older than your parents, I did provide a couple of cousins with Zorin but that was a long time ago.

              But let's qualify this: statement:

              "most people who learn to use Windows once can - for the most part - go anywhere else, sit down at a computer, and do their thing"

              Which Windows? The Windows UI has changed a good deal over the years. How many complaints have there been here over just that thing. And not only the OS, the applications as well - remember all the complaints over the introduction of the ribbon? In fact if you sat down in front of my laptop you might wonder for a moment which variation of Windows it was running. W95 and KDE both seem to have started by adopting a good deal of the Unix CDE interface and IBM's CUI so there are quite strong resemblances between them. and other Unix/Linux window managers. In consequence the differences between any given Windows version and many* Linux UIs is not really greater than that between different versions of Windows.

              * There is a good deal of flexibility but generally KDE based implementations usually default to having the main menu pop up from the bottom left with the panel (task bar) etc on the bottom. I'm not sure what the most common Gnome layout is these days but most distros using it used to put that sort of stuff at the top of the screen. But hey, if you want your task bar down the right hand side that's possible.

            4. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              >how many of them are ones that you'd be happy to give to your non-techy parents or your great-aunt Lucy?

              Assuming Aunt Lucy is already using a phone or tablet then they're already using a flavor of Unix, be it BSD based for Apple or Linux based for everything else. The rise of 'apps' culture has also shifted the platform that people work on to the web browser so even if she is working on an older Windows system she's likely to just bring it up, open Firefox and that's it for just about everything.

              Where Microsoft is going is to wall off the business space with their own flavors of groupware that are tightly integrated with their Office products (which are now also web based). The strategy is obviously to capture and retain the business market -- its huge, it has deep pockets and it is resistant to change ("there is no alternative"). The OS these applications run on is irrelevant and if Microsoft could gradually phase out Windows as we currently know it then it would save them huge amounts of development and support costs.

      2. Greybearded old scrote

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        The times I've tried a BSD felt like death by 1000 paper cuts. Not because it was different to the GPL equivalents, of course I expected that. Lots of details didn't quite work as advertised.

        Don't ask for details though, it's been a few years.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          "Lots of details didn't quite work as advertised."

          And yet, BSD was the base for SunOS, AIX, HP-UX, Ultrix, NeXTStep, Solaris, Tru64, OSX, MacOS ... need I go on?

          1. hmv Silver badge

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            SunOS4 not SunOS5. Not AIX. A lot of Unix variants acquired BSDisms (such as vi) but claiming they were all based on BSD is a stretch too far.

            NeXTStep was based on the Mach micro-kernel as is macOS (or at least /a/ micro-kernel).

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              I think you'll find that there is a lot of 4.3BSD in SunOS5.0 (AKA Solaris), by way of SysVR4.

              AIX had boatloads of 4.2BSD in it, with a hefty pinch of early SysV.

              The Mach kernel itself started life as 4.2BSD, and userland in MacOS and NeXT is clearly BSD.

              1. Greybearded old scrote

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                NeXT and OS X (same thing really) put a human-usable layer on top of all the nasty details I was trying to deal with.

              2. overunder Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                "I think you'll find that there is a lot of 4.3BSD in SunOS5.0 (AKA Solaris), by way of SysVR4."

                I'm probably wrong, but I was under the impression that Berkley itself was heavily funded by just about all commercial UNIX operators, thus making BSD kind of everyone's all at once, not just Berkley's.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  "Berkley itself was heavily funded by just about all commercial UNIX operators"

                  Berkeley (the Computer Systems Research Group) was funded by DARPA. They were intentionally not beholden to any commercial entity.

                  1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

                    Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                    I wish to point out that AT&T sued U.C. Berkeley because 6 files were co-opted from AT&T Unix into BSD to make it into a full fledged operating system. However, it was discovered that AT&T was removing the copyright notices from the BSD source files and the man pages in violation of the license. So they settled out of court and the agreement was sealed. This was back in...the early 1980's I think. Fast forward to SCO vs. IBM. That sealed agreement was unsealed and posted to the internet for all to see. As far as I can tell, there has been no final ruling on the case. The last update was in 2019, which means that the case is still ongoing...17 years later.

              3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                "I think you'll find that there is a lot of 4.3BSD in SunOS5.0 (AKA Solaris), by way of SysVR4."

                It's a long time back to stretch my memory but surely System V, like System III was AT&T. I suppose there was a System IV in between but I never used that.

                AFAICR the original AIX was by Interactive who also did the V7 port to Z8000, Onix, wich was the first Unix I used - and that showed in the AIX I encountered later.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

                  There was a lot of code-swapping between Berkeley and AT&T until AT&T's lawyers noticed that UNIX might be a money maker.

                  The IBM/Interactive Systems Corporation kludge included IX/370 and PC/IX (which were odd-ball variations on the theme, to say the least) and AIX Version 1 (which was BSD and SysVR1 & 2 based and ran only on the RT PC) ... All later versions of AIX were pure IBM. And showed it.

                  There was no System IV ... there was no System I or System II, either.

            2. james_smith Silver badge

              Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

              "NeXTStep was based on the Mach micro-kernel as is macOS"

              The Mach kernel was based on the BSD UNIX kernel. Most of the non-GUI parts of NeXTSTEP were also BSD UNIX, while the compiler was GNU's GCC with added Objective-C support.

        2. broomy

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          Hold on a sec please.

          I grew up with xenix on a tandy 6000. I came into this on the cheap bastardized side. Then I moved into SCO Xenix, Unix on a variety of architectures. Hell, I played with the first NCR tower. Then I ended up on some decent sun gear. Then I put a lot of Linux boxes in.

          My boss came to me and said there was a printer on the production side, a multi-million dollar printer, that would freeze up due to a random packet.The manufacturer said as long as you can't guarantee that particular packet doesn't show up from the network we will not support that printer and you will lose millions of dollars.

          My boss, a brilliant tech / marketing guy, spent a day or two researching open BSD networking rules and gave me an example of how I might save the printer.

          I spent a couple of more days thrashing out the plan, the various networking cards, the various networking rules, and came up with the solution. I set up two failover boxes that filtered that network and isolated the production from everything else. I tested for 10 times the possible throughput. And we dropped it in.

          3 days later we found that God damn packet. We figured out the random equipment that triggered the horrible reaction. This became the default plan of how to isolate the network on the production side. It also became the logging system that was able to track every brownout that ever happened and focused on every malfunctioning piece of production. I could roll back a week worth of data to analyze in Wireshark and say that piece of equipment failed at that point. It was amazing, and it was one single box.

          So let me please sing the praises of open BSD and it's ability to filter and save a network production system. It took a week and it was amazing and it probably lives on today.

          Now back to Eric. I love the guy. I went to a lecture that he gave around 1985 ish. It was about porting applications between various unixes. He was amazing. He was informative and educational and just had the right amount of aww shucks as he shuffled around.

          Let me tell you about the shuffle around. He's got problems with his legs and feet and his club footage. I have problems with my back, hip, legs and I shuffle around the way he did as he was suffering out on the lecture stage. That guy had to deal with some serious physical disabilities and he was not letting it shut him down. He was also deep into martial arts training at that time. He's brilliant in many ways.

          At the end of the lecture I told him I was working under SCO Unix and I did not have the korn shell that he was talking about. He arranged the tape for me. It was up to me to port it with the various compiler uh-ohs. It was awesome.

      3. I Am Spartacus

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        Err, if you hate SystemD so much, and now that all suppoted versions of Ubuntu use Systemd, why are you here?

        Another Vi/Emacs argument troll? Mac/Windows? C++/Java?

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        Any OS responsible for horrors like systemd deserves to die.

        That was Poettering, not Linux. And rather than 'die' I was thinking of something involving a wrought iron fence and a rubber chicken, but oh well...

        /me typically uses Devuan whenever I need Linux

        1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          I was thinking of something involving a wrought iron fence and a rubber chicken

          You didn't mention a video camera. I'll be angry if this happens and there's no video camera involved.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            "You didn't mention a video camera. I'll be angry if this happens and there's no video camera involved."

            You'll probably want a second video camera too. You know, to like, er, video it as well. The first video camera should be one of those early VHS "portable" ones, for extra effect during the insertion.

      5. Richard 51

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        You could say the same for Windows

      6. Never10_use_Puppylinux
        Devil

        Re: Look at GhostBSD with MATE or XFCE desktop

        GhostBSD has a telegram group. You can download an .ISO file and burn to USB Flash drive and test boot up the live image on your computer and see if you like this BSD. Take a few minutes and check it out as a replacement for your daily driver. No SystemD, use OpenRC to start systems. Based on FreeBSD 12.1 Stable but from GhostBSD controlled repository.

        Thanks for the consideration of useful BSD, if you don't like SystemD.

        Yes, I use Manjaro Linux installed to SSD, BTW. ;>) and Puppylinux frugal install from a USB flash drive. So not Linux adverse.

    3. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      Linus will be pushed out and the job will be done... well part of it.

      If he is forced out it will be fascinating to see Linus forking the Linux kernel to keep a free version.

      But I doubt that this "MS take over" will happen - there are too many others who depend on the Linux kernel.

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        I think MS will have to fight Google and AWS for it first, and Apple might throw their hat in the ring too

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          The creation of a common global infrastructure with no dominant controlling* entity is more likely to result in a stand-off where they all continue to push their code into linux as now and benefit from the volunteer effort as well. Any attempt to take control (by any single big player) would create a temporary alliance of convenience to stop them.

          Of course, this doesn't preclude a cartel from forming.

          *Linus has remained in the driving seat only by consent of the developers and not getting into commerical competition with the big players.

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      While I don't disagree this is (at least historically) well within the MS playbook.

      Takeover complete

      ....end result...It does sort of leave them footing most the OS development costs and workload (again).

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      The only place left to go will be BSD.

      Apple has been using a fork of FreeBSD's userland for years. Hardly "taken over".

      I think you fail to see the clear advantages here, with a choice [or not choice] to run some kind of Windows emulation on top of Linux (I'd like mine working with FreeBSD as well, please, and no required systemd hooks, k-thanx). But such a move might also explain why 10's of thousands of lines of code were recently attempted to be dropped on kernel devs for updates to kernel-side NTFS support... [not sure what exactly happened with that, though]

      I'd actually PAY MONEY for something _similar_ to Wine or Steam's game emulator, running on top of Linux.

      I just hope Micros~1 won't FORCE A WIN-10-NIC APPEARANCE (or 'Settings' behavior) on the userland side... yeah I wanna keep my MATE desktop with 3D SKEUOMORPHIC LOOK. And no ads, either. And NO SPYWARE. [yeah good luck THAT happening, I bet]

      Icon, 'cause, FreeBSD

      (there's no systemd in BSD - YES!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        "I'd actually PAY MONEY for something _similar_ to Wine or Steam's game emulator, running on top of Linux."

        Like CrossOver, you mean?

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

          No - the OP wants it run on Linux, not ChromeOS or Android.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

            actually "sanctioned by Microsoft" so that the support and compatibility will be there.

    6. JasonT

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      I wouldn't be so sure that Microsoft wants to "take over" the Linux kernel. This might just be the commoditization of kernel functionality. Does it make sense for Microsoft to throw money at something for which a superior solution exists that's free? It could pour a fraction of what it spends on the Windows kernel, file systems, etc. into Linux an and even LSF and probably still be considered a generous sponsor. Redmond could then spend its money building up its Azure stack, developer tools, and enterprise stack (Exchange, SQL Sever, etc.) which are more profitable and have more growth potential.

      I don't find this any more evil or suspicious than what Amazon does with taking things like Redis, MongoDB and Elasticache, forking them internally to add scalable storage and some management sweeteners, and charge a lot of money for it. If Microsoft really does continue its trend toward contributing to the kernel, supporting its tools on Linux, etc. one could make the argument that they are better open source citizens than Amazon.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      I don’t see Microsoft doing this. There’s far more to it than simply having Win32 on Linux. MS aren’t about to walk away from their decades of Windows (kernel, services, etc) and try and do it all over again on Linux.

      For example, we’re highly unlikely to see the vast mass of code that depends on COM being ported over to D-Bus...

      1. AlbertH

        Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

        MS aren’t about to walk away from their decades of Windows (kernel, services, etc) and try and do it all over again on Linux.

        They will. It'll be just like the transition from OS9 to OSX - different underneath but with similar shiny on top. The user experience will be mostly the same, except that their machines will be more stable, more secure, and a lot quicker (the NT kernel is a horrible, slow, tangled mess, similar to the obscenely convoluted OS9).

        Apple jumped to BSD when they could no longer support the convoluted mess of kludges that made up OS9. It really hurt them, and MS will feel similar pain when they bite the bullet and finally accept the inevitable. There will be many job losses at Redmond.

        M$ have finally woken up to the fact that their OS is just a poor client for a Unix-based world. Just like Apple, they'll keep their app layer looking like Windows, but everything beneath will actually work properly for the first time.

        I was concerned when MS were allowed to contribute to the Linux kernel, but when the code was scrupulously analysed and found to be clean, most of us welcomed the donations.

        It's a strange world, and it's getting stranger all the time!

    8. ignored_trees

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      I suspect that Windows might end up being built on top of an increasing level of Linux code Wer have honestly. Windows PE may be where it starts. The thing is Windows has not made Microsoft money directly for years, being revenue neutral on the whole and more of a promotional tool to gather data (the biggest industry in the world) and force people to use their cloud offerings (surely the next anti-trust case - although there is little chance of any sympathy for any of the big players - at some point or another they are all a bit shady!) I am guessing that the use of open source to provide free development will help reduce costs, increase compatability for Linux et al All good really. I personally welcome this move. It is not too disimilar to what Apple did with BSD after all.

    9. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      I don't see it happening. Windows might follow MacOS and become a BSD distro... of course, back at the time of the Windows 2000 Professional source code leak, it was noted that Windows already has a few pieces of BSD in it, but clearly if Windows were to be a layer on top of something, making that something derived from BSD would give Microsoft more control.

    10. Libertarian Voice

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      You have so many down votes for telling what is likely to be the truth if people are not very careful; I am very much minded of Android.

    11. tabinnorway

      Re: Sadly... this is the beginning of the end

      The 1990s called and wanted their paranoia back.

  3. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Trollface

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

    Microsoft's Embrace, Extend, Extinguish taken to extremes...against itself. IF this comes to pass, then Linux will win the desktop and Windows will be just another window manager.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

      Indeed, IF.

      I think it's bonkers dreaming. Win10 may indeed become less important to MS, but replacing the NT Kernel with the Linux Kernel would cost a lot in development and make no extra revenue.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

        replacing the NT Kernel with the Linux Kernel would cost a lot in development and make no extra revenue.

        not necessarily. All you would really need is a single translation layer library with all of the userland stuff running on top of it. As long as the USER32.DLL code (and related) can use glx extensions, AND the various video drivers support it properly on the back end, shouldn't be too hard.

        Basically, what Wine attempts to do. Sadly, they're MISSING so many important features and compatibility that I can't get anything I want to run under Wine... but if Micros~1 does it, even just FIXING THE WINE STUFF [without b0rking the desktop settings of the user that runs it, AND allowing both 64-bit and 32-bit applications to run at the same time], shouldn't take too long.

        Seriously, it would make good economic sense, NOT having to maintain the kernel and drivers.

        And, with open source kernel drivers more or less REQUIRED by the GPL (i.e. re-compile driver for updated kernel config), then guess what? NO! MORE! STUPID! KERNEL! DRIVER! SIGNING!!!

        Or at least, it *BETTER* not happen to Linux!!!! (it would take "tainted driver" and "tainted kernel" and re-define it in the most HORRIBLE way possible). I _REALLY_ _HATE_ that "tollbooth" that requires you pay Micros~1 to sign a driver, even if you want to GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE. and it's such a FALSE sense of security, too.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

          Two upvotes from me in a row, bob. You're on a roll!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

          > > replacing the NT Kernel with the Linux Kernel would cost a lot in development and make no extra revenue.

          > not necessarily. All you would really need is a single translation layer library with all of the userland stuff running on top of it.

          They've gone to a lot of trouble to build WSL, which translates Linux syscalls into Windows syscalls.

          Why would they do that, if the plan was to do it in the opposite direction?

          1. bazza Silver badge

            Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

            You’re out of date. WSL is now a hyper visor hosting a full Linux kernel with some nice integration features.

            MS are merely the latest in a long line of outfits to implement the Linux system interface; first there’s Linux itself, Solaris, FreeBSD, BlackBerry10. It always runs into too many problems of nearly-good-but-not-good-enough.

      2. Tomato42

        Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

        the NT Kernel development isn't happening for free, so we might as well see the cut off point where the Linux development for Windows applications is cheaper than NT kernel development for Microsoft

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

          A cutoff point where using Linux costs less than NT kernel development...

          yes, I've been thinking that maybe that cutoff point is NOW...

          Also worthy of mention though: X11, and *NOT* WAYLAND!!! If Micros~1 requires Wayland for "Windows on Linux" it would be YET ANOTHER example of "getting it wrong".

          And, also important: NOT take over the desktop to run Windows applications. Let them run SEAMLESSLY on your Mate desktop, for example.

          and wouldn't it be nice if "the registry" were stored in "~/.config/Windows" as the Open Desktop might suggest, either in XML or plain text "INI style" form, using actual files and directories? Especially NOT using a "Big ol' BLOB" that you can't easily back up... (whereas tarballing a '~/.config/Windows' directory would be trivial)

          (I'm surprised nobody brought these up, yet, or did I miss them?)

          1. Tomato42

            Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

            huh? what are on about?

            the roaming profiles in Windows do keep user registry settings in a single file, sure it's a blob, but it's a blob you can just take a back up...

      3. AlbertH

        Re: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

        replacing the NT Kernel with the Linux Kernel would cost a lot in development and make no extra revenue.

        Having just done some of that recently myself, it's surprisingly simple. The development costs will be relatively trivial, and Win 10 will just become an application layer on top of a Linux OS. It will be largely browser-based (because most of the code already exists - see "Edge" on Linux!).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one?

    Am I the only one watching all this Linux/Windows merging from Microsoft and thinking "Oh please no"?

    I switched to GNU/Linux over 10 years ago (In three years... twenty years go :-O.. wow I'm getting old). Unfortunately this means my mind is still very much "I want GNU/Linux to just be GNU/Linux".

    I really don't feel I want Microsoft code in my operating system (Even though, Microsoft have successfully shoved a ton of unchecked code into the kernel, .NET (mono) onto most GNU/Linux installations).

    In my view, I don't see Microsoft essentially taking control of Linux as a "win" for GNU/Linux. If anything it's a loss. The thing we strived to be different from, we end up becoming them.

    I'm sorry, but I don't want GNU/Linux to become Windows, or visa-versa. I want GNU/Linux to be GNU/Linux.

    How long until something like HDCP is implemented in the kernel, and DRM becomes a standard, built-in part of GNU/Linux? I don't want the DRM and other licensing nightmares that will follow with the Windows merging.

    At that point, GNU/Linux stops being a "Free as in Freedom" OS, and it is no longer truly "GNU/Linux".

    Free as in Freedom please, not Free as in Windows.

    /end rant

    1. matjaggard

      Re: Am I the only one?

      Why is "Microsoft code" any different to anyone else's? Also they're not putting "unchecked" code in - all kernel code will be looked at carefully by non-microsoft employees.

      1. Greybearded old scrote
        Devil

        Re: Am I the only one?

        An old example for you.

        (BTW, this was easier to find with DDG than El Reg search, you might want to think about that guys.)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Am I the only one?

          There is a big difference between Microsoft and IBM dating (before Apple stole IBM away (remember Taligent & Pink?)), and Microsoft flirting with FOSS code.

          1. Greybearded old scrote

            Re: Am I the only one?

            Not so much, the leopard doesn't change his shorts.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Am I the only one?

              Leopards also don't know the difference between commercial software licensing and the various FOSS models.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Am I the only one?

        all kernel code will currently be looked at carefully by non-microsoft employees.

        FTFY

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Am I the only one?

          Currently, schmerently. If it is going into the mainstream kernel, it will be given the fine-tooth by non-Microsoft employees until roughly the heat death of the Universe. There will always be a subset of the FOSS set who don't trust commercial code at all, and will make every effort to expose any transgressions (real or imagined) attempted by commercial outfits.

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Am I the only one?

            Yes, it will be nice to get a look at some of the stuff Redmond is capable of.

            From what I have heard some of the Windows stuff may be a little shoddy but I bet that anything exposed to the rigours of an examination of any MS contributions to the Linux kernel would have been gone over with a fine tooth comb.

            We shall see.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one?

      "Microsoft have successfully shoved a ton of unchecked code into the kernel"

      No. If anything, the Redmond contributions to the kernel have been checked more thoroughly than contributions from any other commercial entity. Not only has it been vetted by Linus & the rest of the Kernel dev folks ... it is also very carefully eyeballed by a bunch of fanboi hangers-on, each eager to make a name for themselves finding bugs/holes/backdoors/other exploits in MS submitted code.

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one?

      I didn't downvote you. But I disagree. The big gain here I think would be that printers, scanners, and a multitude of other useful peripherals might come with drivers that actually work in Unix. It's all very well to babble about SANE, WINE, native unix drivers. My experience has been that they rarely work very well (if at all) without many hours of effort on my part. And often not then. In my experience, the only things beyond mice, keyboards, and monitors that one can count on working out of the box with linux are storage devices or devices that emulate storage devices.

      Also, if I understand ESR's argument -- which I may not -- Microsoft simply won't see much profit in screwing with the Linux kernel. Money in, no money back. Maybe they simply won't bother.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Am I the only one?

        >The big gain here I think would be that printers, scanners, and a multitude of other useful peripherals might come with drivers that actually work in Unix.

        Not explored CUPS 2 which contains support for Mopria?

      2. NATTtrash Silver badge

        Re: Am I the only one?

        Remarkable. Have multiple boxen here with very new peripherals connected to them... Bought new colour laser and graphic tablet just yesterday for working with DICOM. And it just all works. Could it be that the biggest issue in IT is located between keyboard and chair?

        1. Tomato42

          Re: Am I the only one?

          yeah, I'm afraid of PEBKAC error too, as long as you spend 5 minutes to check if the printer is supported under linux before buying it they work far more reliably than under windows with supposed "supported" drivers

      3. Mage Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Am I the only one?

        Wacom tablets, Creative USB external audio boxes and Brother printers/MFC actually install better on Linux than Win 10. Win10 can install the wrong drivers and also disable drivers on an update.

        The driver issue used to be a problem. Not so much now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Am I the only one?

          We had to deal with some Wacom graphics tablets at work recently. Yes, they work, just (that's "work, just" and not really "just work"), straight out of the box on Linux (which is still pretty good), but good luck with trying to get any of the custom settings working (eg, stylus responsiveness, etc).

          They offer a supposedly slightly more advanced driver for download, but it's some nasty tarball that you have to run (as root) each time you want to try to use it, and, as far as I could tell, it then completely nukes any chances you had of going back to the default Linux drivers afterwards.

          I like Linux, especially as a server OS, but there is a good reason why some people spend money on shiny Apple gear if their intended desktop uses are slightly removed from the purely vanilla.

          (And now that Apple has absorbed CUPS, that at least has the useful side benefit of improving Linux support for printers, too. Maybe Apple could be encouraged to work more closely with SANE as well?)

      4. Unfrozen Cave Man Programmer

        Re: Am I the only one?

        IMO that hasn't been an issue since the 90s when "WinPeripherals" were the rage among rubbish mom & pop computer stores, and brands like Packard Bell. Your 3Com NIC, USR modem, and PostScript printer worked in Linux without a hitch; cheapskates got the performance and compatibility nightmares they deserved.

    4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Am I the only one?

      I see it differently.

      Microsoft could be making more money from Office than from Windows. From their POV, it could be better not to have to worry about the underlying OS and concentrate on selling the more profitable Office and server apps.

      From that perspective, having "Linux inside" makes a lot of sense. The other advantage is that Linux users become a market for Office apps, which nicely handles all those businesses (well, only a few, really) who have transitioned from Windows to Linux on the desktop.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Am I the only one?

        >Microsoft could be making more money from Office than from Windows

        And they make more money from the cloud than anything.

        Imagine if there was no windows desktop and the only way to run your windows apps was on Microsoft cloud then not only do Microsoft get to tie all their users into the cloud, all the publishers of Windows(tm) software become app-store victims just like on iPhone

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Am I the only one?

      Even though, Microsoft have successfully shoved a ton of unchecked code into the kernel, .NET (mono) onto most GNU/Linux installations

      I call FUD on the first part, and "only if you let the installer do it" on the 2nd. Last I checked, on Devuan with Mate, there's no mono or ".Not" core.

      I was VERY angry about 10 years ago when I discovered that gnome installer on Debian was including "tomboy" (a worthless postit note application that I'd never use) in its top level gnome-desktop (I think that's right) package, which dragged in MANY MEGABYTES of MONO CRAP to satisfy the dependencies, JUST for tomboy [insert pejorative here]. Needless to say, it stopped being that in the next rev, (as I recall), or maybe the one after.

      Getting rid of it unfortunately required marking everything (except tomboy) below 'gnome-desktop' as manually installed, and then removing gnome-desktop as well as tomboy, and all of the MONO crap along with it. Or something like that. Ugly ugly hack, but satisfying once complete.

      in any case, I think that the devs and "mono fan" maintainers have "learned their lesson" over a decade ago, with the 'tomboy' fiasco. So maybe FUD on the 2nd half too, I guess.

    6. AlbertH

      Re: Am I the only one?

      (Even though, Microsoft have successfully shoved a ton of unchecked code into the kernel,

      No they didn't. I can assure you that their code contributions have been scrupulously checked (I did some of the checking myself), and nothing gets into the kernel without comprehensive peer review.

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Windows' Future

    For a long time the Windows O/S hasn't been a money spinnner per-say. It's always been things like Office & Exchange. (OEMs were never paying anywhere near full price for their bundled copies of Windows)

    With Windows 10 now getting updates/upgrade for free, it does make you wonder what Microsoft's long term plans are for Windows. I feel the obvious answer is that they're interested in the subscription services (e.g. Office 365) over perpetual licenses. There were reports several years ago that MS was pushing its resellers to sell subscription Office 365 over perpetual licenses.

    When Microsoft employees turn up at my office with Macbooks & iPhones (soemthing BIll & Steve would never have allowed) it only confirms my suspicions that MS see their future as on-line only. So the thought that Windows may fade into the distance isn't totally radical.

    1. Sampler

      Re: Windows' Future

      Interesting employees turn up with macbooks, I used to work at an agency who run MS's Australian social for xbox and dabble in other marketing areas and so they worked a day a week onsite to integrate with the client team more, our agency was macbooks (I being one of the few allowed to dualboot with a windows os) but as these guys worked a day a week out the MS office they all got MS gear (mostly surfacebooks) as they weren't allowed Macs, and, to re-iterate, we were a third party, not direct MS employees.

      1. wilhil

        Re: Windows' Future

        I remember back when I was involved in usergroups and went to lots of Microsoft events... The biggest event I remember was at the Heroes Happen now event that was either for Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2, and, most of the MS evangelists who were presenting had Macbooks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows' Future

      nitpick: s/per-say/per se/

      c.f wiktionary: Borrowed from Latin per sē (“by itself”), from per (“by, through”) and sē (“itself, himself, herself, themselves”).

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Windows' Future

        Guilty as charged.

    3. nematoad Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Windows' Future

      "...a money spinnner per-say."

      Arggh! Spelling!

      It's "per se" Latin for "itself"

      Do try and get it right.

    4. Stawsh

      Re: Windows' Future

      My time with Windows goes back for 1.0, which was a GUI on top of a separate OS (DOS). So I see irony in the idea that now, after it's multi-step evolution to Win95 and then it's leap the being NT kernel based, Windows might go back to being a GUI on top of a separate (and in this case not controlled by Microsoft) OS kernel and associate bits like device drivers. The "user mode" stuff is to my mind very distinct from the "kernel mode" stuff accessed by calling the kernel's API. What I touch and see is all that matters and Windows is still Windows, so to me a different kernel, Linux or any other, is sorta no difference as long as I get my support in the same seamless way I currently get it form Windows Update which for me "just works".

  6. LDS Silver badge

    ROTFL!

    Running games is the simple part. They have a simple UI and usually don't use the OS widgets and their API anyway. Nor they care about many other aspects a business application need.

    That's just show how small is the view of many open source developers - and why most open source software is pretty limited, ugly, and not user-friendly. If people had to pay for it, almost nobody would use it.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: ROTFL!

      I like that you think "business applications" are the hard thing. Open Source devs have made the foundations of the hardest bits of computing, the giant iceberg of software that you see the tiniest tip of, and that your business application builds a minuscule house on.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: ROTFL!

      "most open source software is pretty limited, ugly, and not user-friendly"

      So you've still not tried it for yourself.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Running games is the simple part

      Yeah, right.

      Games today and historically have always been the activity that taxes the hardware to the max. CPU, GPU and RAM are left choking and sometimes even the disk gets its share (e.g. badly programmed loading screens).

      I cannot count the times I have upgraded my PC to the latest and greatest in CPU and video, only to buy a new game and find myself playing at a measly 45fps.

      I think that the only other widespread personal activity that can bring a PC to its knees is video editing. I hardly do any of that, but when I do indulge, well, let me just say that I put my gaming on hold until it's done.

      Excel doesn't hold a candle to that kind of activity.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Running games is the simple part

        "Games today and historically have always been the activity that taxes the hardware to the max. CPU, GPU and RAM are left choking and sometimes even the disk gets its share (e.g. badly programmed loading screens)."

        That was not the point of the person you're talking about. They argued that games were easier to emulate than other software, but not because they're low on resource usage. Their argument is that games avoid using a lot of OS-provided libraries. Their examples were the GUI layers, which games often reimplement with their own graphics engines. I haven't ever developed games so I can't comment on whether what they say is true, but please argue against it if you are going to based on the argument made.

    4. james_smith Silver badge

      Re: ROTFL!

      "Running games is the simple part."

      Bollocks. I decided to install Windows on the unused second drive of my laptop so I could play some games during the lock-down. I've previously been a console gamer, and I was shocked at how much fiddling around with old versions of drivers and third party hacks it takes to get a lot of PC games running in a usable state under Windows. Even on this high spec laptop with Nvidia graphics, I often have to drop the graphics options to very low settings to get non-stuttering gameplay, negating the main alleged benefit of running on a PC rather than a console.

      So in summary, running games is hard. Very hard judging by how badly they run on Windows.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: ROTFL!

        >I've previously been a console gamer, and I was shocked at how much fiddling around with old versions of drivers and third party hacks it takes to get a lot of PC games running in a usable state under Windows.

        That's because a console only has one specific chipset architecture, making it very simple for games developers. With the PC, games developers are free to specify their own graphics card and other preferences...

        It's the reason why my son is only allowed a console, until such time as he can build and maintain his own PC's.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ROTFL!

        " running games is hard. Very hard judging by how badly they run on Windows."

        Yes, I've been discovering this during my WFH Lockdown period, excuse me while I check the 'post anonymously' box, be right back...

        Locating and downloading ancient .net dlls and suchlike makes for an interesting and frustrating time.

        Having said that, DOS games used to be a bit of a drag as well. I can well remember having to tweak config.sys in order to get sufficient ram below 640k to run Falcon 3. Before the days where the www let you borrow other people's experience quite so easily.

    5. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: ROTFL!

      "...and why most open source software is pretty limited, ugly, and not user-friendly."

      Gnuplot, image magick, python, r, etc, etc, etc are limited? I think not

      I will give you that Windows graphics are stunning and that Windows can be quite easy to use -- when everything goes just exactly right. Sadly, in my experience, that isn't all that often the case.

      User friendly? I'll give you that writing bash scripts can be like dealing with a hungry crocodile with a toothache. On the other hand, I don't recall that writing command line scripts for MSDOS/Windows was exactly a transcendent experience. And in my experience Unix tools tend to be far more capable and flexible than their Microsoft equivalents. GUIs? Windows gives you one choice which has devolved from a usable, if mundane, interface in Windows 95 to an incomprehensible jumble in Windows 10. The unix world lets you choose from dozens.

      BTW, I'm told that Microsoft has finally gotten around to inventing workspaces -- decades after they have been available in Unix UIs. Really, how have you lived without them?

      1. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge

        Re: ROTFL!

        Seconded here. Though I am not sure that bash scripting is so awful. Maybe it is because I am familiar with it but i prefer it to the OO obsession in Powershell.

        Shell scripting should be to get a quick and dirty task done before you put something more elegant in even if that more elegant solution takes decades to happen. ;-)

        1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

          Re: ROTFL!

          As someone who has written a LOT of bash over the years (example), I can testify that bash is horrible.

          But it's still better than powershell.

          Shell scripting should be to get a quick and dirty task done before you put something more elegant in even if that more elegant solution takes decades to happen. ;-)

          exactly right!

          1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: ROTFL!

            > ... (example) ...

            Bloody impressive! --------->

            Nit: trailing spaces in a lot of places (yes, I am that pedantic).

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: ROTFL!

              Whitespace doesn't matter, haven't you heard? (Unless you use some perverse programming language or other, of course. Or Whitespace, which is a fun teaching tool.)

              1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: ROTFL!

                > Whitespace doesn't matter, ...

                Well, trailing whitespace can at least fool grep jobs not aware of that possibility. Similarly as final line without the new-line character at its end.

                1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

                  Re: ROTFL!

                  Bloody impressive! --------->

                  Well thanks, I was hoping someone might like that. :)

                  (yes, I am that pedantic).

                  I'm not. At least, not always. As you'll see by looking at my (messy) code. But pull requests are very welcome and pedantry will totally be accepted as valid.

                  trailing whitespace can at least fool grep jobs not aware of that possibility. Similarly as final line without the new-line character at its end.

                  OK, to be clear, I said I've written a lot of bash - I never claimed to be an expert: Can you elaborate on what you're talking about, or point me to some relevant resources? Are you just talking about e.g the difference between

                  ^something$

                  and

                  ^something\s*$

                  Or am I unaware of something?

                  Or Whitespace, which is a fun teaching tool

                  OMG kill me now. This is worse than brainfuck!

                  1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                    Devil

                    Re: ROTFL!

                    Say you recall that somewhere in (many many files) you did set some variable to 'horseapple' but there are many instances of assignments to 'horseapplesomethingelse'. Now you grep for '=horseapple$' but the line really is "BLA=horseapple " (extra blanks at end). No match. This will only rarely byte, but when it does, it tends to hurt a lot. ---->

                    Btw. by the looks your code is not messy at all.

                    1. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

                      Re: ROTFL!

                      Aah, right. I don't think I've ever been bitten by this. That particular example wouldn't be likely to bite me because my bash coding style is to always quote variable values, even in simple assignments, i.e:

                      VAR="somevalue"

                      rather than

                      VAR=somevalue

                      So I would be grepping for "=[\'"]horseapple[\"']" in your example. But I do see what you mean.

                      Does egrep '\s$' spaceballs.sh find the lines you're talking about? If you care enough to provide line numbers or the appropriate grep incantation I'll be happy to take a look.

                      by the looks your code is not messy at all

                      Well thanks. It's not awful - I tend to put some effort into stuff that I release, but it could be better.

                      Maybe a Tolkien quote is appropriate here: in the foreword to LOTR he says "The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence".

                      ...aaaand now I feel totally full of hubris, comparing myself to Tolkien. The nerve! ;)

                      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
                        Angel

                        Re: ROTFL!

                        You'll save a microsecond if instead of VAR="somevalue" rather using VAR='somevalue'. That is because strings in double quotes are looked into (so that "${HOME}" would expand, for example). Single quotes means "as it is, do not try anything".

                        Brought to you from the department of things you never wanted to know.

      2. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: ROTFL!

        Not forgetting the completely incomprehensible syntax in PowerShell.

    6. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

      Re: ROTFL!

      Argument sentence yours incoherent isn't perhaps compatible. Struggle to understand you I did.

      Have never used most open source software you are. Very much not user-friendly, limited, and ugly like say you. Examples including chrome, firefox, libreoffice, and about a million others. OpenGL and DirectX not part of OS API suddenly, news this.

      Points good you make. Totally not bridge-living-under creature you are.

    7. ST Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: ROTFL!

      > [ ... ] most open source software is pretty limited, ugly, and not user-friendly. If people had to pay for it, almost nobody would use it.

      I think a lot of companies pay quite a bit of money for RedHat. [ ?PurpleHat? now that it's part of IBM? ] :-) SuSE and Ubuntu too.

      I find myself quite happy with the looks of KDE. I wouldn't call it ugly.

  7. Totally not a Cylon
    Linux

    OS/2 deja vu?

    Reminds me of when windows and OS/2 were just emerging.,

    Windows was originally to be a different front end to OS/2, one more familiar to people who had experience of Windows 3 on DOS.

    But, the story goes that Bill Gates saw the success of Windows and didn't want to share with IBM. So we got the mess that is Windows or was Windows in the past.

    As an end user I just want to be able to run the 'Program' I want on my computer whether that is Gimp, MS Flight Sim, iMovie, Office, RaceRender, Forza, Gran Turismo....... etc.

    As a Programmer (yes I do write stuff) I want to be able to write in my chosen language (C and its successors) and with just a compiler switch and a few different libraries produce code which runs anywhere.

    MacOS runs Linux code with just a few tweaks to makefiles, why shouldn't windows?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: OS/2 deja vu?

      "MacOS runs Linux code with just a few tweaks to makefiles, why shouldn't windows?"

      Because Mac OS is essentially a flavo(u)r of BSD. Windows is not.

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: OS/2 deja vu?

      "As a Programmer (yes I do write stuff) I want to be able to write in my chosen language (C and its successors) and with just a compiler switch and a few different libraries produce code which runs anywhere."

      LOL, oh clearly you're a 733t dev if thats what you think.

      Sure , with a few different libraries and LOTS of different code slung between #ifdefs you can write cross platform unix/windows code but there are substantial differences. I'm a unix dev but I have developed on windows now and then and the 2 main differences I came across are:

      1) Win32 can't do fork() (though oddly the windows kernel itself can) so you can forget about any sophisticated cross platform multi process code.

      2) Windows sockets are not exposed as file descriptors in C (they're a handle which is some structure) so you cannot use select() or poll() to do the network socket multiplexing that is standard with unix and AFAIK you require some over complicated multi threaded or co-routine nonsense to achieve the same result.

      3) Unix doesn't differentiate between command line and GUI code ,its all compiles down to a binary which either can or can't connect to an X server. Windows does which brings a load of unnecessary complications IMO.

    3. Jason Hindle

      Re: OS/2 deja vu?

      "But, the story goes that Bill Gates saw the success of Windows and didn't want to share with IBM. So we got the mess that is Windows or was Windows in the past."

      More likely that IBM commissioned MSFT to write OS/2 and therefore owned it, which MSFT ended up not liking. Hence the whole subsequent Windows/Windows NT shit show that which was never a decent enough desktop OS until the (painfully insecure, it turned out) XP. All this led to things like Copeland, Taligent and so on when, it turns out, all the world was waiting for was consumer grade equipment strong enough to run a cheap enough UNIX (Linux).

      I wonder of Thompson and Ritchie had a clue what they were starting?

  8. Sin2x

    Eric is such a dreamer. The reality is going to be exactly opposite of what he wrote, for better or worse.

    1. Simon Ward

      I was going to say much the same thing.

      Does anybody give a fuck about what ESR has to say any more?

    2. Greybearded old scrote

      Yep, he's all arse-about-face. Two Es down, one to go.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      It's plausible.

      But MS will want Linux running ontop of something to which a licence fee is payable to Microsoft, not a Windows layer ontop of Linux - which would way too optional to many.

      It's why we have the Linux subsystem for Windows, the IT answer to building a cathedral on a wet cardboard box.

      It's tempting to think if they were intent on switching to a linux base, they'd be working instead on their own Wine-alike - then again - that'd be rather community minded - easier to port their own programs than cater for a platform they were dumping

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Coat

        The IT answer to building a cathedral on a wet cardboard box

        That's a bazaar bizarre analogy!

      2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: "But MS will want Linux running ontop of something to which a licence fee is payable to Microsoft, not a Windows layer ontop of Linux - which would way too optional to many.".

        I don't think so. Ms appear to have stopped considering os licences to be an important revenue source, with their primary focus being on the xbox, office subscriptions and azure.

        I read somewhere that Windows os licences were less than 10% of their income now.

  9. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Delicious irony

    On both sides. If it took Microsoft adopting Linux to finally usher in the year of the Linux desktop....

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: Delicious irony

      It would not be a Linux desktop, the majority of people using it could not give a stuff about what happens behind the GUI. If it runs the Windows GUI It would still be Windows and most would call it Windows, it is just the hidden bits that would be different.

      Most people don't know that the kernel is and for the few that have heard of it, the association is probably nuts and things, not computers.

      I am not sure what the benefits for the average user would have to be able to run all their existing software so that needs some sort of emulator. I remain unconvinced that for most people the additional complexity is worthwhile.

  10. jake Silver badge

    Don't giv 'em any ideas. ESR ...

    ... Linux already has more than enough GUI+APIs. Nobody really needs another one.

  11. Timmy B Silver badge

    Okaaayyy

    So - porting Edge to Linux obviously means that Microsoft is going to move everything to Linux and stop developing Windows.... But they ported it to Mac first. Does that mean they are going to stop developing Windows and move to Mac?

    I wonder if the person that came up with this idea stopped and had a bit of a think before he started....

    It's the opposite that MS are thinking. After all most of what people do now is in the browser and if the same browser is available on all platforms and it is what people want to use and it is Edge (a bit what if) then why would people not buy cheap Windows PCs?

    1. Paradroid

      Re: Okaaayyy

      I agree that Edge is a red herring here, but the the idea still makes sense to me. A cheap Windows PC could be even cheaper if Windows became free or almost-free, because the cost of developing it was slashed by switching to Linux with a thin layer over the top.

      1. Greybearded old scrote
        Trollface

        Re: Okaaayyy

        Thin layer? It's been a long time since anything from MS was thin.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Okaaayyy

          Thin layer? It's been a long time since anything from MS was thin.

          I'd hardly call the quality of the WIN10 updates solid.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Okaaayyy

      I think the strategy is clear and far from the prediction made. Windows is the way Microsoft stays relevant to its business clients and OEMs. They're not going to do a bunch of work to get Linux running old Windows code through an emulation layer; it's cheaper to keep supporting Windows, much less likely to break, and it keeps a revenue stream headed their way. Meanwhile, they can't just ignore that legacy code because that's a major reason businesses provide for staying with Windows.

      The Edge on Linux part makes total sense to me too. Another major revenue generator for Microsoft is their Office subscriptions, which run through a browser. By porting Edge to Linux, which was probably pretty easy as Chromium already runs on Linux, they make sure that they'll always be able to run Office for Linux users; even if Firefox and normal Chromium make changes that break something MS needs, they can keep it running through Edge. This makes Office more of a cross-platform tool and ensures user satisfaction for not much work.

  12. boltar Silver badge

    Meanwhile, back in the real world...

    ..Microsoft want control. Chucking a few bones to the OSS world is one thing, ceeding control of their OS kernel is another thing entirely and won't happen. If MS wanted to use a kernel they didn't have to bother to maintain as much they'd do an Apple and use BSD since it doesn't have the GPL hanging over it. The only reason MS contribute to Linux is that there's a monetary payback for them in the form of pulling people from Linux onto Windows via the back door.

    "Look, here's our latest greatest on Linux! Like it? Well you can get the full featured version over here --> Whats that? Oh yes, it does say Windows 10 but don't worry about that - look Shiny!"

    1. thondwe

      Re: Meanwhile, back in the real world...

      And Azure and O365 run on Windows Server, and we have some 300 Desktop Apps running on Desktop Windows.

      A theory based on MS porting Edge to Linux based on something already cross platform (and they're doing IOS, Mac, Android already with a strong corporate compliance angle baked in) implying a wholesale move is pretty weak.

      MS are much more likely to be interested in Linux support for devs + tools for working in the whole IOT space - e.g. Azure Sphere (Linux based IOT). whether that's a Windows box with WSL or a Linux box running O365

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      pedantry

      There's only one "e" in "ceding" :)

  13. alain williams Silver badge

    If this were to happen ...

    it would mean that devices for which there are only Windows drivers (Eg strange wifi cards) should cease to be a thing of the past - ie I should have no problems upgrading from MS Windows to Linux when I buy a new laptop.

    In reality there will still be some kit (probably from China) that ships with proprietary device drivers for which they refuse to release the source code - completely breaching the GPL and them not caring.

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If ESR's dystopian future should arrive would there be any non-MS devs working on Linux, other than those working for H/W vendors? I'd expect them to either fork it at some point or move over to a BSD.

    1. jake Silver badge

      This is one hand clapping territory.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The big problem will always be: tightly integrated GUI or not. The Windows kernel is probably now not that dissimalar from Linux or BSD. But the fun starts with the GUI and multimedia parts for which there is (and there are good reasons for this) still no single, simple system.

      But ESR's main point still stands: Microsoft is starting to make a lot of money from its SaaS and PaaS offerings and will be able to keep customised locked into to its APIs for a while yet.

  15. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Proton

    The one thing I will take from this article is the existence of something that allows Steam Windows games to run on Linux.

    A ray of sunshine at last.

    Now I can go peacefully toward retirement, knowing that, when I get there, I will be able to game to my hearts' content without the clunker that is Windows to hold me back any more.

    Happy days.

    1. The Bam

      Re: Proton

      You might want to take a look at this: https://www.protondb.com/

  16. J4

    Follow the money, always

    Last 12 months numbers, roughly

    - PC Office, O365, and Dynamics - $50bn and growing 20% pa

    - Cloud, server, enterprise - $50bn and growing 30% pa

    - Windows, Xbox, Hardware - $55bn and growing 2% pa

    So Windows is part of the slowest growing division, which overall is around a third of the business. Where does corporate investment go ? Not in the biggest products, but in the fastest growing - and Windows is a long way off being the biggest anyway. Plus a dollar on O365 is more sought after than a dollar on Windows standalone install, for that lovely lovely subscription renewal.

    The business purpose of Windows was to provide a foundation for the real money sales of Office. That is no longer true. Office and Cloud can be sold to any OS user. Why waste money on Windows developers when you can leverage Linux developers who aren't employees and don't qualify for health benefits or a pension.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money, always

      If it makes more profit than it costs to pay for the development, MS will continue to do it. They would be stupid not to.

      Which is the most profitable is irrelevant. If you don't have enough devs and it's profitable, hire more devs.

    2. Zakhar

      Re: Follow the money, always

      Upvoted you. Indeed shareholders decide. What is the point investing in an O.S. when you have a free one that works pretty fine. What the corporate user (the one that pays!) wants is to run Office, he couldn't care less of what the O.S. is.

      Also devs prefer open source. See all the examples like Hadoop. They are right about that and can see it in the news every day, see at the moment the Apple's tax chronicle. That is what happens when you depend on a company's policy. That can't happen with open source: Libre Office celebrated it's 10th anniversary didn't they.

      But the real signals that what Eric describes would be happening is not Edgium. That is too easy since Chromium is already multi platform. The big signals would be:

      - Porting Office to Linux

      - And most importantly that M$ stop the racketeering business model (forcing down your throat a W$ license with each new PC, whether you intend to use it or not!).

      The second signal would really be positive and prove they respect others... but it still makes money, so it's a hard decision!

      Until that decision is taken, and as long the racketeering continues (35 years and counting) I'll write M$ and W$, and they won't get the respect of the open source community: where the devs are!

  17. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Not sure about this

    MS Guy 1: Azure? Check. Office365? Check. What the suckers really need now is the EdgeBook.

    MS Guy 2: The EdgeBook?

    MS Guy 1: Yeah. We can drop all this expensive Windows development crap but keep them mainlining Microsoft while piggybacking on a cheap Linux kernel.

    MS Guy 2: Ah, I see. We don't need to make the syringe to keep them wanting the drugs.

    Or maybe not. But as I said, I'm not sure.

  18. Ilgaz

    Opposite will happen

    I think Microsoft wants to create a reality that you would never have to install "real linux" and dual boot. WSL2 with real Linux kernel, some demos they do making even Wayland work under Windows are all signs of that.

    1. Paradroid

      Re: Opposite will happen

      I think WSL/2 is actually the start of it. The parasite its going to eat the host.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Opposite will happen

      Dual Boot?

      I did that from 1998 to early 2017. Then abandoned NT/Windows entirely apart from rarely spun up VMs (which are stored on an external USB HDD kept in a drawer).

      1. Chronos

        Re: Opposite will happen

        ...in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with "Beware of the leopard" on the door?

  19. Chronos
    Devil

    Lots of "OMG teh M$..."

    ...but very few of you are remembering the key take-away point from this: ESR is bat-shit crazy. Always has been, always will be. The chances of Linus or Greg allowing MS to Borgify the kernel is about the same as me winning the lottery.

    The only grain of concern is people like Poettering who are already in an MS mindset and forgetting the "do one thing, do it well" mantra. Systemd may as well have been an MS designed-by-committee product. It has all the hallmarks. I rebooted a Pi last night with "systemctl reboot" and it felt dirty.

    1. Greybearded old scrote
      Joke

      Re: Lots of "OMG teh M$..."

      And not in a good way.

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Lots of "OMG teh M$..."

      Theonly grain of main concern is people like Poettering ...

      There, more akin to how things stand today.

      Systemd may as well have been an MS designed-by-committee product. It has all the hallmarks.

      Indeed it does.

      And I do not discard MS' intervention somewhere.

      From a post here at ElReg, May 2017:

      "Systemd also has its dirty fingers into other parts of the system. As a replacement for sysvinit is is supposed to be an init system, but because its scope goes far beyond the initialization phase (and it doesn't let you take the good without the bad) it has become a dependency for many userspace programs that should never have any reason to interact with the init system at all, making it harder to use those programs on a non-systemd system."

      This systemd is nothing more than a Microsoft registry class virus; the moment I understood what it was all about I stopped using systemd ridden distributions and settled on Devuan Linux.

      Now, why would Linux actually need to have something like systemd inside it?

      I'll try to sum it up in three short questions:

      Q1: Hasn't the Linux philosophy (programs that do one thing and do it well) been a success?

      A1: Indeed, in spite of the many init systems out there, it has been a success in stability and OS management. And it can easily be tested and debugged, which is an essential requirement for any OS. Certainly not something you can do with a MS OS.

      Q2: So what would Linux need to have the practical equivalent of the registry in Windows for?

      A2: So that whatever the registry does in/to Windows can also be done in/to Linux.

      Q3: I see. And just who would want that to happen? Makes no sense, it is a huge step backwards.

      A3: ....

      Cheers,

      O.

      1. Chronos

        Re: Lots of "OMG teh M$..."

        Well put. Your ellipsis at the end may be an extrapolation too far but the point bears consideration.

        Aside: 100% Devuan shop here - the infected Pi wasn't mine, my Pi is a Devuan box running the PiHole and Wireguard gateway.

  20. gerryg

    Yes, of course

    Microsoft will take over the Linux kernel. Because, IBM, Intel, Facebook, Oracle and all the ones I have forgotten about will roll back the years of breaking free. It's so obvious. Won't anyone think of the children and, err, read the GPL?

    1. abufrejoval

      Re: Yes, of course

      I'm afraid you misunderstand.

      Of course Google/Facebook/Amazon etc. won't use Microsoft's Linux, just like they don't use RedHat or Ubuntu either.

      But every corporate, governmental and private user will find it much harder to use anything but the Linux that Microsoft publishes, which unfortunately only works when you pay directly or indirectly a Microsoft tax for its dependence on Azure.

      It's precisely the Chromebook/G-Suite, iPhone/AppStore, Android/PlayStore approach, because copycat is what Microsoft has always excelled at.

  21. Paradroid

    I've been convinced of this for some time

    I wrote an article about a very similar theory a few years ago, no proof though sorry (on an old blog site that got taken down). The idea for the article came from noticing how much virtualisation is already going on with the Xbox One, a platform that obviously cannot afford poor performance. While Microsoft doesn't always make the right decisions around UI, their ability to write seriously impressive system code has never been in doubt in my mind. So it seems highly likely that we will see Windows morph into a Linux kernel, with maybe a couple of virtualisation layers (one for Windows/Xbox games and another for legacy apps), with a Windows-style UI over the top.

    I'm convinced that there are people inside of Microsoft looking at what's being spent to maintain the core Windows OS, who are not impressed. That same opinion is probably behind some of the more aggressive marketing in the OS these days.m And with the performance gap that now exists between Windows and Linux, the writing is on the wall.

    (Edit: found an archive of the article, a bit out of date now, but just my claim above doesn't sound like BS) https://web.archive.org/web/20180905111053/http://www.blitterandtwisted.com/2017/02/future-of-windows-linux-and-a-built-in-xbox.html)

    1. Majikthise

      Re: I've been convinced of this for some time

      I've though the same for a lot longer, though I have no archived blog posts to prove anything. ESR is not particularly prescient.

      Actually, I think the more useful of your old posts is this one...

      https://web.archive.org/web/20180823153529/http://www.blitterandtwisted.com/2016/11/why-windows-will-move-to-a-linux-kernel.html

      And, er, yeah, agreed - though I came from a different point of view. The progression to Windows-on-Linux-kernel was clear as soon as the Gates/Ballmer era ended and grown-ups took over. Satya and co watched Google destroy Windows phone with a proprietary user space on top of the Linux kernel. They learned from the pain of Vista and the arm port, and I would personally bet that there's been a functional Windows-on-Linux test rig running in M$ labs for several years now. It'll be very secret but only because the markets might find the idea a bit scary without a *very* carefully crafted announcement, not to guard any particularly secret sauce.

      Anyone following RISC-V will note that no RV hardware firms (think NVIDIA) are moaning that a Windows port is needed - unlike the 90s when lack of Windows helped* to take down both alpha and itanium and lumber us with x86 for the next quarter century. RISC-V folk all agree that Linux is vital and if M$ aren't worried, that's because an official Windows userspace will be running on Linux kernels by the time RV64G kit actually hits the streets.

      * Yeah, I know there were lots of other reasons, but Not Running Windows was a big one. And no, Windows never worked usefully on alpha

  22. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    Edgy strategies

    May I suggest an alternative possibility?

    First let us recall how MS once tied together IE, IIS, FrontPage and SQL Server with non-standard proprietary knots, thus elbowing out Netscape and HoTMetaL Pro and putting Apache and MySQL in a very hot place.

    Now let us spread Edge goodness on to Linux, Linux onto Azure, and build the traditional bait in as proprietary binding - you know, key functionality for the latest MS Office must-haves, the "It may be theoretically (ahem) insecure but it is so productive"s, yadda yadda. Anybody see a pattern emerging?

  23. Dwarf Silver badge

    Services for Windows ?

    1. Vocational Vagabond
      Windows

      Yes... that thing you need to go restart to make bluetooth work without rebooting windows ....

  24. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Bullet through the internet

    I emailed Eric Stupid Raymond a couple of decades ago about gun control, just a bland, friendly email. He threatened to shoot me through the internet. He is still yet to develop Bullet over IP.

    This guy puts the cray in crazy. He shouldn't be given airtime. Richard Stallman, that's yer guy.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Bullet through the internet

      Sounds like a red-blooded American to me.

      I'm sure there are many who aren't gun-crazy once you scratch the surface......maybe.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emulator?

    WINE IS NOT AN EMULATOR

    It is a wrapper...

    And yea, I've seen this coming for a few years now. More and more subsystems will eventually transition, you can already tell by the store and windows update being apt-like in the background!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Emulator?

      It doesn't emulate a Windows PC but it does emulate the largely undocumented API calls and maps them to the relevant local system calls. Certainly very different than ABI.

  26. karlkarl Silver badge

    Well I congratulate the tireless efforts of all the open-source developers through the decades.

    They kept focus and hacking away whilst 99.9999% of others laughed at them, told them they were not "modern" and told them it would never work.

    It just shows that 99.9999% of people really *can* be wrong. If it wasn't for open-source platforms, the industry really would be in a sh*t sorry state right now.

    1. Lorribot Bronze badge

      Errm i don't think it has anything to do with the developers. It is more about the fact it was always licenced freely which allowed the curious to play and share and explore different avenues and versions. Open Source development is not always a good thing as there key services that are supported by one developer such as NTP or any of the myriad libraies used with Linux where there is little overview and some really crummy code.

      It works well in the case of Chromium, Linux, MySQL and other large Open Source projects because of the support from large companies who provide funding and developer teams (Firefox would not exist without the big corps supporting Mozilla), having multiple teams developiing their own directions and needs and monitoring code of other teams does work, but these are few and far between.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        >> Open Source development is not always a good thing as there key

        >> services that are supported by one developer such as NTP

        True but the same could also be said about closed-source and proprietary development. There is also its fair share of crummy code. The only difference is no-one but the author gets to see it. In your example, if the NTP daemon was owned by a corporation and was closed source, people might be a bit worried in case the owner closes up shop.

        I strongly believe open-source will ultimately take us forward. Especially in the "boring" albeit critical things that there is no money to be made in.

  27. thondwe

    PS: Windows is a subscription now

    BTW, Windows is now a subscription service to Enterprise/Education establishments - no need to look far to see that move to personal users as part of the new M365 "Home" and "Family" bundles...

  28. DS999

    The value of Windows is in the API

    The Windows API that so much software has been programmed for. The kernel underneath only matters for stuff like drivers. They can port everything that runs outside the kernel to interface with Linux instead of their kernel, with no performance impact and no changes needed to existing Windows applications. They'd undoubtedly need to develop some kernel drivers to support stuff the Windows kernel handles differently from Linux (probably mostly stuff that interfaces with the Windows Registry) but that's doable.

    The side benefit for them is that neither stability or scalability would be an argument for Linux / against Windows on the server side. If they're running the same kernel, none of that matters and Microsoft's advantage over Linux in terms of management/deployment software and a GUI familiar to most everyone would dominate.

    Maybe dumping the Windows kernel would make Windows Update a far less painful process, too. Hey, one can dream!

    1. Paradroid

      Re: The value of Windows is in the API

      "The value of Windows is in the API" is 100% right, not sure why you're being downvoted. Have a +1

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The value of Windows is in the API

      "The kernel underneath only matters for stuff like drivers."

      That depends on your definition of kernel. If you don't provide all the IOCTL interfaces and the background services that "applications" use to make stuff happen, you don't have anything useful. It's a vast surface area and while there may be many apps that don't use any of it, and no apps that use much of it, you haven't got a replacement for the Windows kernel unless you have a replacement for all of it. At a guess, it is about 10 times larger than "the kernel". Like the myriad daemons that make a real UNIX system actually useful, most of this code runs in user-space so probably isn't being counted as "kernel". But you need it, all the same.

      Of course, underneath all that there's a much smaller/narrower interface that *is* well-defined. If you emulate that, running Windows on top of Linux is easy. But that's not a wild prediction on my part, because MS have already made Windows a reasonably well-behaved virtualisation client.

      1. DS999

        Re: The value of Windows is in the API

        You treat system calls as part of what needs to be ported. I don't think Windows has an "ioctl" as such, but just as an exchange if the port was in the other direction you'd create an ioctl library call that took the arguments and made calls to the Windows kernel to take the appropriate action, so that application software would run unmodified.

    3. Zakhar

      Re: The value of Windows is in the API

      "Maybe dumping the Windows kernel would make Windows Update a far less painful process, too. Hey, one can dream!"

      You mean like Livepatch: being able to upgrade the kernel itself without a reboot?

      Sure, that will happen when pigs fly on W$!

  29. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Assuming this is accurate... Is this how Windows goes ARM? Almost makes you feel sorry for Intel. I guess this should be subtitled The immanent death of x86-64.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      "Assuming this is accurate... Is this how Windows goes ARM?"

      No, Windows already went ARM. You can buy a computer with it on if you want. They did this by changing their compiler target to ARM and then fixing broken things until they got tired of that and it seemed to work fine. Linux was not the kernel at that time and it isn't at all proven that it will ever be.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Do I have to explain the difference between CE, RT and Windows x86-64? If I had ment to say the previous Two I would have said so. I said Windows as in Windows X. Making the switch, and pulling it's apps off the x86 Platform al-la Apple.

        As to this NOT being Redmonds fist rodeo. Yes we were aware of that. But those products were Windows in name only.

    2. Vocational Vagabond

      Depends how much they're prepared to pay Nvidia I suppose ..

  30. baud Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    The year of Linux on the desktop...

    brought to you by Microsoft

  31. MikeLivingstone

    Microsoft is being more open, that is a good thing!

    I think this is a good thing and makes sense. Microsoft was always a user experience company, whereas Linux has always been king of the datacenter. Being king of the datacenter means your kernel is faster, more reliable and being FOSS means it is more open and maintainable. So running Windows over Linux actually makes sense. Microsoft isn't stupid, there is more Linux in Azure than Windows now, bur MS continues to make many great products up the stack.

  32. Captain Obvious

    So I have a question

    If Azure is based on Windows Server, they would have to write Server with a Linux base to pull this all off and make more money with less development costs. I do not see that happening within the next 5-10 years.

    That question was how will Azure change as it is based off Windows Server/Ad not a true LDAP and not Linux.

  33. Lorribot Bronze badge

    Edge? Pah, what about SQL moving to Linux a year ago?

    First off, I think SQL being ported to Linux is far bigger than Edge which had pretty much already been done as part of Chomium.

    If Windows were to be subsumed in to Linux as is stated I would see it more likely that Microsoft would do their own Distro of Linux with their own Desktop, as they have done with Chromium where they removed all the Google services and refernces and moved these to MS ones.

    They are facing a big problem with their kernal, there is a lot of legacy nonesense in there. Moving to the Linux kernal and wrapping it in a Microsoft desktop with a built in emulation layer for "legacy" Apps in the same way Apple did when it changed from OS9 to OSX, would make some sense.

    They have already done this to a lesser extent with Android with the MS Launcher you can get, they are limited to what they can do there by access to the Google Play Store which requires Google services to be installed. Being the dominant/monoploy phone OS and the way the iPhone litgation is going would MS support legal action to remove that requirement? And the an MS distro of Android with MS services wrapped up would be very appealing.

    MS is all about selling services now, anything that advances that makes them money, owning the core desktop OS is not a thing for them anymore. Server OS is a little more complicated but needs a reduced feature set and can be a much simpler thing to support, you only have to look at the Nano edition to see where that can go. AD and such like are big things to move as well. But as I have said SQL is already over the fence.

    The big thing to watch for would be a Linux version of Office, once that is in place an MS Linux desktop distro would not be far behind. The other biggie would be XBox moving over in the next version due around 2025-7.

  34. Maximum Delfango Bronze badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Funny thought...

    Microsoft have spent decades polishing the same old turds and now they're going to spend the next few decades covering pearls with faeces.

    1. crispert

      Re: Funny thought...

      Your comment is a brighter gem than Monty Python's 'Oscar Wilde' bit.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Tempest
    WTF?

    Don't Forget the Microsoft IoT Law Enforcement Suite

    A Microsoft project for in-car and body-worn camera systems, drones and aerial surveillance systems use the cloud to provide officers with a real-time, connected view of other first responders around them, and real-time situational awareness for officers. Microsoft has partnered with scores of police surveillance vendors who run their products on a “Government Cloud” supplied by the company’s Azure division.

    MS has a “Public Safety and Justice” division with ex-law enforcement staff. This is the heart of the company’s police services, andit has operated for years out of public view.

    Veritone, along with China-based Hikvision, provide facial recognition services, closed-circuit TV cameras, environmental sensors (for radiation and dangerous chemicals detection), along with automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). In New York over 9,000 NYPD and privately operated camera feed in to the 'beast'. A drone option from Aeryon Labs, the SkyRanger, can provide real-time streaming video.

    All these options, not necessarily sold by MS, are plug compatible with MS equipment.

    I spent a few months in the US this Spring and a group of us followed the MS MAPP vehicle around gathering data. There are sufficient weakness for disruption, some of which were tested with great success.

    Singapore, South Africa and Brazil have systems and Britain will soon join them

  37. Art Vark

    Twenty years ago I told my wife that if MS had any brains they would use the Linux kernel and make 'Windows' into a GUI running on top of it. Seems like things are going in that direction: it would save MS at bloody TON of dev$$.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Twenty years ago it had been only four years since MS changed the NT kernel (pre v4) from Posix compliant with separate GUI to the 'faster' one that included a big lump of GUI and other bits.

  38. Spineman

    Don can RIP

    If Windows becomes a GUI over Linux. Satya Nadella should win the Nobel prize in Humanity. He will have saved the world from a virus far worse than all others combined, a virus that has infected mankind since that fateful day Don Esteridge, a wonderful man, opened Pandora's box. Don's life was cut short so he was unable to free the world from his fateful folly, but Satya will finally allow him to rest in peace. All that is left is for the god's to grant us one more wish, that Bill Gates somehow does not "Window" healthcare before he enters Dantes eternal buggy upgrade hell. Satya we are forever grateful.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Don can RIP

      Two points: 1) That's Don Estridge. 2) Yer butter's done slipped off yer biscuit.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Don can RIP

      Windows used to be GUI over NT Kernel when MS supported X86, Itanium & Alpha architectures.

  39. Sil

    Wishful thinking

    Microsoft has to make sure Windows won't break systems written decades ago.

    So the chance of Windows becoming an emulation layer on top of Linux are 0 % imho.

    There is no value to Windows otherwise, and Microsoft would be much better off writing a new os from the start.

    Also, people have been underestimating the revenues of Windows for a long time.

    Windows profits paid for (failed Windows Mobile), for Azure and for Staya's other whishes.

    Yes, Azure is becoming increasingly important for Microsoft, but not important enough that it discloses its turnover, much less its profits.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Re: Wishful thinking

      No, it makes perfect sense because YOU have been testing MICROSOFTS translation between kernel APIs for YEARS now. That's what WSL was all about. They took old UNIX based code from NT4 and ported it for this very purpose: to test the shim layer that they are preparing for their move to a new kernel.

  40. That 8 Bit Guy
    Facepalm

    This sounds familiar.

    Oh, great. Another OSX clone....

  41. Steve Channell
    Meh

    Not going to happen

    but the core Microsoft Executive is likely to be open-sourced for hypervisors to be loaded from firmware like UEFI that runs all operating systems as a guest.. without the wider kernel, the microkernel will revert to the original design.

    The "S" in WSL is still a subsystem, but one where the process management is handled within the subsystem and not translated to Win32 calls.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Re: Not going to happen

      The point is the DO have a translation layer now and YOU the user are testing it for them. It's trivial to reverse the translations from NT->Posix to Posix->NT.

  42. StrangerHereMyself

    Raymond's wet dream

    Ain't never gonna happen. Microsoft is going to rewrite Windows on top of a Rust microkernel before it ports Windows onto Linux.

    And the entire idea makes no sense. Microsoft can afford to write and maintain its own operating system and has done so for decades. Just because it's cheaper to run Windows on Linux isn't really a thing for a company that makes tens of billions of dollars in profit each year.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Re: Raymond's wet dream

      No they would not write a new microkernel because that would cost MORE money than maintaining the NT kernel. That manoeuvre would not gain them access to the Linux mindshare, which now dominates many large initiatives. The entire reason for this change is to get closer to the Linux based communities, not further away from them (which a rust microkernel would do). At least Win32 shares the C API!!!

      Win32 will become a service that runs inside a KVM module until they can fully port *microsoft* software to the Linux kernel, at which point win32 will become legacy because MS will have the advantage and will go around hovering up more industries in their cloud system.

  43. SouthernLogic

    Interesting Idea

    Interesting Idea however the biggest advantage windows has over linux these days is Active Directory. Yes Samba can do some of it, but it is always multiple releases behind and the tooling is weak. I hope I see it happen one day and I can move off M$ for good. As of now many mission critical apps we use have COM components which is not supported on linux either.

    What are your thoughts.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Re: Interesting Idea

      Windows Active directory is a combination of LDAP and Kerberos 5. While the NT implementation of Kerberos 5 is a little bit different from others, these are all userland services that don't specifically rely on a kernel in *nix. It would be trivial to move the code into the kernel to improve performance if needs be.

      By the way, I ran a full test domain 5 years ago using Samba 4 and had no issue with most domain level functions I needed.

  44. Libertarian Voice

    This has been the writing on the wall for years; I don't even consider development for windows any more, in fact over the past 12 months it has been retired to the occasional virtual machine for legacy software, everything runs on KDE now. Networking with SSHFS is so much better than smb and we have just developed an openssh bridge for printers so that we no longer need VPN and the unnecessary and not insignificant overhead.

    Our back office application is written using Ncurses with a portal using web applications written in cgi so our network traffic is now lower than it was way back in 2000 when we were stuck with an ISDN line.

    Every single bit of security is now consolidated on openssl so we only have to patch a single source.

    It is high time that windows simply became a desktop environment and gave us all a break.

  45. tabinnorway

    If this happens it would to a degree be a shame. I think it is in Microsoft's best interest to allow it to happen and I am kinda hoping it will happen as well. I just wish it wasn't happening with Linux. Linux is great, for a 1970s bloated monstrosity (slight exaggeration here) but it is still a 1970s bloated monstrosity. I would actually be a bit of a pity of Linux ends up ruling the world. It would be slightly better than if it was Windows, but only slightly.

    If the winner was something akin to QNX on the other hand...

  46. Dinsdale247

    Called it

    I called this when the introduced WSL.

    https://www.quora.com/Will-Linux-eventually-dominate-over-Windows-and-OS-X/answer/Russell-Haley-4

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