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Index > Windows > What Would Life Be Like Without Windows?

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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17717
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
Some opinion: http://www.pcworld.com/article/187703/what_would_life_be_like_without_windows.html
It's the thought experiment we all like to engage in. What would life be like without Microsoft Windows? To listen to the free open source software crowd, the demise of Windows -- and by extension, Microsoft's hegemony over the PC universe -- would signal a kind of rebirth for information technology. Software would finally be free of the corporate shackles that have stifled innovation and dragged down the best and brightest among us.

Such thinking is naïve, at best. Rather than freeing IT, the demise of Microsoft would plunge the industry into an apocalyptic tailspin of biblical proportions -- no visions of hippie utopia here. The withdrawal of the Redmond giant's steady hand would cause today's computing landscape to tear itself apart at the seams, with application and device compatibility and interoperability devolving into the kind of Wild West chaos unseen since the days of the DOS big three: Lotus, WordPerfect, and Ashton-Tate.
Post 27 Jan 2010, 12:00
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1155
ManOfSteel
The world cannot live without Windows. OMG, without it the end of the world would come!

This is almost like "Randall C. Kennedy" is actually an alias for "Steve Ballmer", hahaha...

Quote:
But come, let us ponder together the implications of a world without that shiny, four-colored Windows logo. A world where standards are fleeting

Oh, please! Microsoft is the No 1 standard non-follower/breaker and my-standard-is-bigger-than-yours in the industry. Gimme a break.

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and where creativity and innovation have run amok.

WATCH the BSD family, Red Hat or Open/Solaris development models and LEARN how human creativity and innovation can best be exploited. Sheesh.

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The deprecation of the legacy Windows API, coupled with the move to an entirely Web-based delivery model

Yes Google is powerful. But why should its so-called "web-centric" computing model be the "Way"? Heck, why should there even be a "Way" to begin with? What happened to all the other companies and OSS projects that don't, never intended to, and probably never will follow that model and will continue to follow "traditional" models? All the rest of the argument is based on that false premise.
How obtuse can this guy be? When you think he has reached the top, he breaks his own record.

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As with client applications, the developer tools landscape will be fundamentally altered by the inevitable decline of the Win32 API.

How is the Win32 API so superior, in every way, to any other API? No one prevents people/companies from making/copying and using a similar API if they like it, or using an already-existing and established alternative API.

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Programmers will face a plethora of new and potentially critical design decisions, including how to create a workable UI in a world where the old Windows rules no longer apply.

People usually criticize the OSS alternatives to Windows for having too much freedom and too many UIs and UI frameworks. But now apparently Mr. Kennedy is arguing there is no other UI but Windows'. Interesting how people suddenly get voluntary myopia.
These guys should make up their minds. Which one is it, too much or not enough?

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Bottom line: Expect much confusion as the newly cloud-centric world reorders itself through a series of bloody purges and API turf wars. Navigating this minefield of fleeting pseudo standards and technology dead ends will help to separate the wheat from the developer chaff. Only the strong will survive.

Or maybe this "cloud-centrism" will be the next and biggest fiasco or fad in the history of the computing industry and none will even talk about it by 2015.
As for the strong surviving, isn't that what always happens everyday IRL?

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The lack of a dominant OS target will cause the once homogenized device driver landscape to fracture

Let OS programmers deal with that as it's already the case for virtually everything outside Windows and MacOS. And it seems they have been doing quite a good job. Problems only start when the ultra-secretive companies don't even release their H/W datasheets or only share them with companies who pay high fees and sign NDAs, only leaving the illegal, slow and error-prone reverse-engineering solution as the only choice for all the rest.
So the real problem lies not in the lack of Windows but in the principles of patenting and intellectual property.
And "homogenized"? Come again?

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with vendors chasing after the popular platforms du jour while neglecting their legacy installed base.

Even the "chaotic" GNU/Linux has major popular platforms. Target these or target whatever you see as worth your money. Problem solved.

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Plug and play will be replaced by "plug and pray" as frustrated customers struggle to match devices to their respective OS choices, while wondering if they'll regret their selections once the next tide of disruptive development rolls in.

What does PnP, i.e. the existence of common buses and device specifications, have to do with Windows and Microsoft?
The OS has to support the framework and manufacturers do the rest. Yes, it's usually good if both understand each others and create new standards together, but this can be done with or without Microsoft.

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In this chaotic world of hyperinnovation, vendors will seek to align themselves with the perceived market leaders of the day.

What a shock! And this is different from today in what way, again? Who said one single platform would not be able to replace Windows if it ever died?

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The good news is that nature abhors a vacuum. In time, new players will emerge to redefine the PC hardware ecosystem around their particular platforms.

Are we discussing software development models or the economics of monopoly capitalism?

Quote:
But the real question will be: What kind of force will this newly ascendant leader wield? Will it follow in the footsteps of Microsoft and use its standards-setting power to level the playing field? Or will it take the 1980s-era IBM approach and try to consolidate its death grip through proprietary lock-ins and similarly anticompetitive practices?

Hmm, what's the difference?
Post 27 Jan 2010, 16:10
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
Well ManOfSteel, I think this guy is pretty much saying "what will happen after all current OSes die" rather than just Windows, so I think he's on crack. Razz

ManOfSteel wrote:
What does PnP, i.e. the existence of common buses and device specifications, have to do with Windows and Microsoft?
My guess is, some device devs are not willing to disclose their info with open source, so Microsoft for them was a blessing... but in reality I think they WILL nevertheless do it -- a small profit with an opposition who knows your devices is better than no profit at all (you can't sell your stuff if it works with no OSes out there...)

There has not come anything good out of Microsoft for half a decade.

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Post 27 Jan 2010, 17:20
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17717
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
Although for the most part the article is complete nonsense there is one aspect that I think is correct. The mention of the hardware manufacturers not knowing who to support. Currently is it easy for a board maker to know that supporting Windows is a must. Supporting other OSes is completely optional and would hurt sales very little if no support is provided. So if there was no Windows it would force the hardware makers into two options. 1) write lots and lots of drivers, one for each OS, or 2) release all information and specs so that others can write the needed drivers. Both of these two options would be beneficial for the average user; choosing both would be ideal.
Post 28 Jan 2010, 07:49
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
Yes and my point was that they would be forced to do so, whether they like it or not -- less profit is better than no profit at all (if their hardware doesn't work, no one will buy it).

EDIT: Or maybe we would see an explosion of interest in ReactOS? Wink
Post 28 Jan 2010, 17:36
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1155
ManOfSteel
Or a rise in suicide rates.
Post 28 Jan 2010, 18:01
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