Author: Mike Language: text
Description: The Windows Burden Timestamp: 2020-03-23 20:15:39 +0000
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  1. I've been enjoying all the chat on the show about WSL, but I've got a perspective on this that I'm surprised I've not heard elsewhere.
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  3. I work as a web developer on ASP.NET and MS Azure, and I have to run Windows for this. I do this in a VM (usign KVM/QEMU) running on my preferred Linux distro - currently Arch/GNOME.
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  5. It seems to me pretty clear that Windows must be more of a burden than a benefit to Microsoft at this point. The OS (as a concept) is pretty much 100% commoditized by now, and Windows offers negligible benefit to anyone, except as a way of running apps such as Adobe. More than that, Windows is an absolute nightmare - the architecture is creaking all over the place: the registry, the installation subsystem, the filesystem. The whole thing must be an albatross around Microsoft's neck at this point. They make almost no money from it - profits are from Office 365 and Azure - so it almost certainly costs them more to maintain than the benefit it now brings.
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  7. For several years MS have been facilitating running their 'crown jewels' (like SQL Server) on Linux, and I see WSL as the vehicle - the Trojan horse if you like - that will (over time) turn Windows into a Linux-based OS from the inside out. It's not too hard to plot a hypothetical roadmap that sketches out this route. WSL 2 - where we get a Linux kernel running at the heart of Windows - was a logical next step in this direction.
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  9. We all laughed when they first came out with the name WSL. Shouldn't it be "Linux subsystem for Windows?" we all said. But I think the ultimate destination is actually a Windows subsystem that runs on Linux, allowing 'legacy' Windows apps to run on the Linux desktop, and providing a smooth transitional route for all Microsoft's real 'value add' to be invested in the Linux platform.
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  11. To be clear, I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories about Microsoft trying to subvert Linux in some evil way. I just think this is common sense business for them, but it's just a little too early to make a public announcement to that effect (as they might find people jumping ship from Windows to Linux before they're ready to follow).
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  13. Anyway - just my 2c. Loving the show - keep it up!
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