Over the previous few years, Microsoft has wholeheartedly embraced Linux and open supply which is why the developer and author Eric S. Raymond (ESR) believes that the following model of Windows may find yourself operating completely on Linux.
In a brand new weblog submit, ESR factors to the truth that the software program big lately launched its Windows System for Linux 2 (WSL2) and that it’s at present porting its Edge browser to Linux as the reason why the corporate may sooner or later retire the Windows kernel in favor of the Linux kernel.
WSL2 additionally permits for unmodified Linux binaries to run underneath Windows 10 with no emulation or shim layer. At the identical time although, Microsoft builders are actually including options to the Linux kernel in an effort to enhance WSL.
ESR thinks that Linux may lastly win the desktop wars “not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it”.
Shifting enterprise mannequin
Up till 2010, Microsoft bought Windows and its Office software program as standalone merchandise with perpetual licenses that customers paid for as soon as and will use perpetually. However, with the launch of its Azure cloud service, the corporate moved to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mannequin the place customers pay a month-to-month subscription price to make use of its software program.
Ten years have handed because the introduction of Microsoft’s cloud and now Azure is the place the corporate makes most of its income. At the identical time, the corporate’s working system has grow to be a sideshow in keeping with ESR and gross sales of standard desktop PCs are declining.
Continuing to develop Windows the way in which it has for years not is smart for Microsoft and it ought to as an alternative be placing these assets into Azure. It’s additionally extensively rumored that Azure is now operating extra Linux cases than Windows lately.
ESR additionally factors to Steam’s Proton as another excuse why Windows as we all know it’s not crucial. Proton is an emulation layer that permits Windows video games distributed on Steam to run over Linux. The answer is way from excellent in the mean time but it surely provides us some insights as to how issues may fit sooner or later. If Microsoft was to launch the following model of Windows utilizing the Linux kernel although, its working system may find yourself being a Proton-like emulation layer that runs on prime of Linux.
We’ll simply have to attend and see whether or not ESR’s predictions come to go however Windows itself may actually profit from operating on the Linux kernel versus its personal trouble-prone kernel.