As probably half of the tech world knows by now, Microsoft is bringing Ubuntu to Windows. Not just a shell, as it’s been (incorrectly) reported, but the whole userspace. Linux binaries will have the ability to run unmodified on Windows. Read more here: Ubuntu on Windows — The Ubuntu Userspace for Windows Developers
For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, this is the important part:
Hum, well it’s like cygwin perhaps?” Nope! Cygwin includes open source utilities are recompiled from source to run natively in Windows. Here, we’re talking about bit-for-bit, checksum-for-checksum Ubuntu ELF binaries running directly in Windows.[long pause]“So maybe something like a Linux emulator?” Now you’re getting warmer! A team of sharp developers at Microsoft has been hard at work adapting some Microsoft research technology to basically perform real time translation of Linux syscalls into Windows OS syscalls. Linux geeks can think of it sort of the inverse of “wine” — Ubuntu binaries running natively in Windows. Microsoft calls it their “Windows Subsystem for Linux”. (No, it’s not open source at this time.)
Is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot? No. It’s way more than that. They are cutting the whole leg, in order to survive.
Are they killing windows? In a sense, YES. And they know it. How?
Anyone remembers IBM’s OS/2?
One of their marketing mottos was: “A better DOS than DOS, a better Windows than Windows”.
And indeed it was.
And being a better Windows than Windows condemned OS/2’s future. Because… Why would anyone develop for OS/2, when they could do so for Windows, and run on both?
Now, Windows will be able to run Linux programs, just like OS/2 ran Windows programs. This affects me personally. I won’t need to do the horrible port of a Unix program to windows anymore – I will just point to the Ubuntu package. I ALREADY GAVE UP PORTING TO WINDOWS.
IBM made this, but it was a mistake. Microsoft is smarter than IBM in 1990. They know what they are doing. They are effectively killing windows. (On other news of the same day, Microsoft puts windows phone on hold).
After that, IBM left a lot of business to focus on some stuff and make more money. They sold their notebook business to Lenovo, they ditched their PC division, then later sold their X86 server business to Lenovo as well (much later), and, more important, they switched to the bunch of operating systems they had to one: LINUX.
Where is AIX now? Where is OS/400? OS/300? PC-DOS? (Yes I know, they are zombies and will never really die, but anyway). Their Big Iron runs Linux. Their Supercomputers runs Linux (IBM abandoned their Supercomputer division as well, recently). IBM is THE major contributors for Linux being the mature system it is today.
Oracle doesn’t really give a rat’s ass for Solaris anymore.
Apple, being Apple, went a different way. They supported Unix applications from the beginning on Mac OS X. BUT…. Unix graphical apps ran on a separate X11 app. They sucked. If you wanted your program to have the full Mac experience, you had to port (at least the GUI code).
Anyway, Microsoft found out that the money left the desktop. Why? Well, the best notebook you can buy is a mac. Everything else is trying to copy them (damn, HP calls their products ENVY). The problem is that everything else runs Windows, and Windows sucks. Sucks BADLY. They are lost on the desktop. Windows XP was a better user experience than Windows 10 is, and they know it. They are lost and they know it.
A Raspberry Pi costs 35 dollars. It has a better desktop environment than a US$2000 PC. And probably as responsive as, or even faster, without the updates, antivirus, and general windows fuckup. WITH AN OPERATING SYSTEM THAT IS FREE AND RUNS LINUX.
They are going for the cloud, they are going to where the money is. They are already making a bunch of money in the cloud. There are plenty of info about it, I won’t dwell into it (by the way, their cloud stuff runs Linux).
Or maybe they are extending to kill. Tie ubuntu code to Windows APIs and do what they did with IE6. Maybe?