Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Kernel You Crave, But the Licence Won't Let You Have

Speculations again. We have already written about half a dozen posts which explore the possibility that Microsoft uses Novell to create 'Winux' (Windows with a Linux kernel). Here is one such post and here is a more recent one. With the increased complexity of Windows codebase, 60% of which requires rewriting, as well as the endless delays (Longhorn, Vista in an acceptable form, Home Server, etc.), one must stop and wonder.

"If it were not SUSE Linux, could it be BSD...?"Do Project Singularity and the recent rumour about a Windows replacement (already in the making) have an element of truth and potential? The former is said to have been a research-only project and the latter -- a hoax. But where does that leave Windows? As the citation above proves, Windows code lacks modularity and it is hardly maintainable. Could Microsoft turn to alternative routes? If it were not SUSE Linux, could it be BSD, whose licence would be somewhat of a relief to Microsoft? The kernel aside, many packages move to GPLv3, which, to quote Eben Moglen, has Microsoft lawyer screaming with their hair on fire.

In yesterday's writeup, Matt Hartley seems to think that Microsoft should embrace BSD and gradually abandon Windows.

It's Not Just Bill Gates Leaving the Nest. So now that we have established that Vista is costing Microsoft a loyal fan base, despite the firm grip they maintain in the business market, it's important for Microsoft to take a proactive stance against improving Windows. With their grip on Dell dropping away slowly and the potential for the same thing with other companies like HP, I would not be shocked to see big box stores beginning to post record returns alongside those big Vista sales claims.

When is Microsoft going to understand that there is a reason why Apple is outperforming them with a better, more stable OS? The simple fact is their choice of a BSD core has driven Apple's continued success.


Another new article had a funny bit of text:

Mac OS X's FreeBSD roots provide a level of reliability matched by no version of Windows and no previous version of the Mac. In other words, it's nearly as reliable as Linux.


NindowsThe word "nearly" stands out. Although BSD is very well built, in practice, some say that it's no GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3]. Whether it's Linux or BSD, both of which represent freedom, Microsoft must have (at some stage) thought about the possibility of 'pulling an Apple'. Their execution strategy, particularly with GNU/Linux, would have to be different. Direct contact with the GPL is merely disallowed. Enter the OSI and Novell. Remember Citrix.

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