November 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm #7073
This is a pretty geeky subject and could end up being a very long thread, if you’re going to read, and/or comment, please ensure you read the full post first.
Think what you will of the actual story, but it added fuel to my recent thoughts.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about M$ Windows and how it’s soo damn bloated now with all the legacy crap and compatability, but what a good OS it still is.
ORCA (I think it was) had been saying about Vista/Win 7 backward compatability and that it’s a bad thing they’re trying to get rid of it.
I’d read a few stories and seen a couple of publicity videos about M$ working on a hugely trimmed down Windows kernel and how they’re trying to make Windows more efficient.
Well, with all these various opinions, ideas and issues flying around my head, that story I posted kinna gave me some clarity.
What if M$ switched to using the Linux kernel but continued with closed / part closed source software?
They’d have to make the previous Windows version a LTS release (long term support, maybe 7-10 years), but think of the benefits.
No longer would software writers have to worry about writing for 2 completely different OSes (Windows and Mac/Linux), hardware manufacturers could consentrate on just one set of drivers, it would mean that the best Kernel gets all the attention, but M$ would still be bringing there great code writing ability and industry support along with it.
I’ve had MANY a convo with people about the merits and pitfalls of Windows and Linux/Mac, which is better and why etc. Which is likely to end up becoming/remaining dominant, but in all those convos this sinario has never been discussed.
Maybe that’s because noone thinks it’s ever going to happen, or maybe simply, because like myself, the thought had never occured.
Granted, it will cause a HUGE upheaval in the computer industry, with MANY a headache being caused aswell, for both the industry and customers/consumers alike, but I think it’s required.
Both hardware and software have made huge advances in recent times, thanks to ever improving hardware and software, the speed of which will continue to increase, but it’s all still being held back with old technology that still must remain for backward compatability and industry wide support.
Just like software is battling the handicap that is old standards, look at the x86/x64 arcitecture. 32bit will eventually be phased out and replaced with 64bit, but it’s going to take a LONG time due to the status quo that exists, but even so, it’s still based on the old x86 standard. Surely there’s a much better architecture out there waiting to take over given the chance.
This could be the chance.
It just needs a brave industry leader to make a massive move and that could shift the balance of everything else, allowing all the new technologies to take the leap they’d like.
Apologies for the very long post, but it’s a very complex subject(s) and I thought I’d throw them out for discussion here.
Feel free to voice your own opinion on this, no matter what your tech knowledge level, such a shift would have a huge impact on your computing life (which effects the rest of your life, unless you don’t have any tech at all).
An open minded, Peanut!November 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm #58500
First of all, there is a very good reason why Microsoft wouldn’t shift to linux kernel. Its the same reason as Microsoft going out of their way to stop the users from using linux/mac.
There are a LOT of things besides the OS that can be improved in the computer world, that including hardware. The research and development on the hardware side of the industry is a lot faster than it seems in the market. The conditions of the market are closely watched by major co-corporations so as to allow them to maximize their profits while not having to make very fast technical advancements to do so.
Example me and laptop had a lengthy discussion on how CPU can completely be eliminated from a computer so as to drastically improve the performance by solely relying on add-on cards. There are many advantages to it. In fact more advantages than dis-advantages. The speed of computing can reach levels unimaginable. Imagine using a graphic card to run all cpu intensive tasks with its hundreds of cores.
Only thing that is really necessary is better written software/games. Once that step is properly achieved and softwares utilize the available hardware properly, i dont think better hardware would be needed so often as it does now. (hardware get outdated in 2 months in 21st century)
Apologies to divert your post from the operating system point of view, i thought it was more appropriate to do so.November 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm #58501
i have an opinion!
i dont think its an accident that windows requires software written for windows. by marking ‘made for windows’ software, hardware and media as their own, microsoft further embed their monopoly. the last thing they want is popular software that would run cross platform.
No longer would software writers have to worry about writing for 2 completely different OSes (Windows and Mac/Linux), hardware manufacturers could consentrate on just one set of drivers…
thats why it won’t happen. theyre playing the same card with windows 7 vs prior releases. the lacking legacy support in win 7 home is no accident. it is a means of directing consumers to buy new software that will only work with win 7, further securing win 7 as the only OS option by the time the new software has taken hold.
Example me and laptop had a lengthy discussion on how CPU can completely be eliminated from a computer so as to drastically improve the performance by solely relying on add-on cards. There are many advantages to it.
there are certainly advantages to a slot based cpu solution, and massive parallelism is definitely where its at. i am convinced they could increase home pc speeds exponentially almost overnight if they wanted to, but as yusuf says, existing brands and architecture are cash cows for the manufacturers. no doubt, they want a nice steady release of “innovation”. just enough to show say 2x speed increase a year, but not enough to break the pattern everyone is already used to. and im sure theyd hate to give people more computer power than they need. regular upgrades arent so attractive when your computers plenty fast enough already.November 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm #58502
MIcrosoft won’t touch anything licensed under GPL with a ten foot pole. The viral-by-design property of GPL and its proven enforceability in court are like black plague to them.November 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm #58503
Just to clarify things penut my Opinion is ditch a lot of the legacy hardware compatibility not software compatibility.
Back in the 80’s and before software and operating systems were driven by the development of the hardware, why did that stop? we could not keep up with programming software and operating systems that could keep up with the hardware. Now hardware development and deployment is driven by the software development and everything stays at peek efficiency.
The greatest hindrance to ms if they wanted to go over to a hybrid kernal is that it would kill compatibility of every program on the market past and present. Who would buy an OS that nobody could use anything with?November 9, 2009 at 1:03 am #58504
i have an opinion!
Not really a surprise, but I do agree with your opinion
As far as compatibility, it could be made compatible. Many windows programs already are running on Linux or BSD through compatibility layers such as Wine, Cedega, and Crossover Office.
Peanut, your not the only one who’s thinking of this:
I don’t think MS will embrace any software licensed under the GPL period. If MS were to “re-invent” their wheel, they would take the same path as Apple, using the BSD kernel as a base. The reason for this is simple, the license FreeBSD is released under has no obligation to maintain it’s “freedom” of code, the GPL does, whatever you base on the Linux kernel HAS to be released under the GPL. BSD has no restrictions of that type.
As far as the “quality” of windows, eh.. not so good. Their virtual monopoly OS’s for all this time has made them a tad lazy. A good example is (was) Windows ME, which for ever soured me on MS, and of course their latest mess called Vista, which liberally spread important important OS files and libs over the drive, preventing (or making it difficult) to install two OS’s on the same computer, such as when I felt the need to put ’98 on, because Vista refused to run educational software the kids use.
Truth is if Steve Jobs hadn’t bought Apple back, and sent Wozniak packing, (Who wanted to license Apple firmware to third party vendors, like IBM did) we would all be using Unix type systems (Which Linux is), and likely the x86 architecture which we are all saddled with (because that’s what Microsoft writes OS’s for) would have been a foot note in computing history.
Life sucks huh?
Stare a the cat, he knows…
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