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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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).
  13. Anyway - just my 2c. Loving the show - keep it up!
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