January 16, 2003


Robert X. Cringely has an interesting proposal for Microsoft. They’re not going to do it, of course. Not even in a fantasy world would MS consider ditching DOS and putting their XP desktop on top of Linux. But it’s an intriguing idea.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (15)

Comments RSS - Write Comment

  1. Rosana says:

    Hello! I'm Brazilian…

    Kiss for you…

    Posted January 16, 2003 @ 11:39 pm
  2. leuk_he says:

    from dos to "XP is still on dos because you can get to the C: prompt" is a conclusion that is just not correct. Xp is build on top of NT and that has more properties of a real OS than DOS has.

    Posted January 17, 2003 @ 11:06 am
  3. Emily says:

    The article you linked to has a point about Windows XP being a windowing system. I'm running Mandrake Linux and XP on the same box. Not a lot of visual different, since Mandrake has a GUI. Even my dad, a non-geek, remarked that it looked just like Windows. But you know what they say about building a better mousetrap.

    Posted January 17, 2003 @ 1:37 pm
  4. Brian says:

    It's funny. I was thinking about this yesterday. I'd love to have a Microsoft windowing system running on Linux. It would be the best of both worlds! I could have my linux server and command line, and my non-geek friends could actually use it. No matter how hard I try, I can't get people to understand KDE and Gnome.

    Posted January 17, 2003 @ 7:29 pm
  5. Chris says:

    It would be nice to have different flavors of Windows, just as there are different flavors of Linux. I've often dreamed of something like this, so MS would actually have to compete against a compatable OS, but I doubt it will happen.

    Also, Leuk_he is right: Windows XP is not a DOS system. You can get a command promt in XP, but it's nothing more than an emulator. It's mostly there just in case you need to run batch files or simple programs without a GUI.

    Posted January 18, 2003 @ 12:31 pm
  6. Emily says:

    Well, it might happen if they violate enough antitrust laws. But you're probably right. I can't see it happening anytime soon.

    Posted January 19, 2003 @ 7:36 am
  7. FilSchiesty says:

    You know, I was thinking of this the other day. MS would benefit from doing this.
    I might actually "buy" their products if this were to happen.

    Posted January 19, 2003 @ 11:46 am
  8. Eddie says:

    Sad. Cringely has in the past been right on target but this one is pure BS. "you can still get a C:\ prompt in XP therefore it's still running on top of DOS". bzzt. wrong. XP is the first consumer OS to run on top of the NT kernel, which is the quite unequivocally non-DOS-based OS that MS have been perfecting since the early 1990s. How can Cringley get such fundamentals wrong? (And why does his site have no email address for the guy … doesn't he want to know the truth from those who actually *work* with MS's software?) The guy's proven himself to be a charlatan. Shame; I used to have quite a bit of respect for his opinions. Oh well, time marches on …

    What Cringely sadly fails to realize is that XP comes in two flavours – XP Home and XP Pro. It's arguably true that Linux can probably duplicate 90% of XP Home's features for the home user [just don't imagine you'll ever get a word processor as usable as Word on top of it, or a driver for that *particular* CD burner. And plug 'n' play? That's the antithesis of the Linux philosophy … forget it].

    But the features of XP Pro that make it an essential feature of the corporate desktop are not even imitated by Linux.

    True, the killer features of Windows today have nothing to do with the kernel on which Windows sits. In which case, why change that kernel? Why shoehorn those features onto a kernel that fails to properly support them, when a kernel that supports them completely already exists? And can you imagine the shit Microsoft would field from the zealots if they dared *change* Linux to better fit their existing application codebase?

    Why would the corporate Windows world take a step 5 years into the past just so that Windows is now built on an "open" foundation – something whose actual benefit to users is no better than marginal?

    Cringely has lost the plot here. It's sad to see a fine mind go down in flames like this.

    Posted January 19, 2003 @ 7:10 pm
  9. Scott Schrantz says:

    All true. 3.11 was the last version of Windows that was truly a GUI sitting on top of some separate OS. Cringely did miss the mark on that one. Even 9x was more integrated than not. And the world of Unix is a completely different animal from Windows. I know Windows inside and out, but when I sit down at a Linux computer I feel like I'm starting at Square One. Very little of my knowledge transfers over.

    It's still intriguing though, in an alternate reality kind of way, to imagine seeing a box that says "Windows XP for Linux".

    Posted January 19, 2003 @ 8:07 pm
  10. John Robinson says:

    Wouldn't it be poetic justice if five years from now more than half the people using Xboxes ran them under Linux!

    Posted January 20, 2003 @ 1:19 pm
  11. Peter Shank says:

    Would this idea be more or less likely than Sun selling a Linux box with an Intel processor?

    Posted January 21, 2003 @ 3:52 am
  12. Victor says:

    He is wrong, way wrong.

    Posted January 22, 2003 @ 4:33 am
  13. geoff says:

    What about cost? Imagine an office with 10 PC's running XP/Office. How much is that? How much would it be to run Mandrake with Open Office? I think the operating differences would be fairly easy to absorb when considering the relative outlay. As for MS running their GUI on an opensource OS, sounds great but I seriously doubt it would happen.

    Posted January 23, 2003 @ 5:04 am
  14. Cobain says:

    Hei, Man!! Your Blog is really great!!
    My name is Michael and i'm from Brazil!
    Can you visit my Blog?
    I´m waiting 4 U!!
    See you later!!

    Posted January 24, 2003 @ 7:54 am
  15. Violett says:

    I have a Toshiba Libretto that won’t boot to XP – my fault because I messed with the bios. I can boot with an MS DOS Start-up floppy. How can I get from DOS to XP? Or should I ask, how can I get from Dos to the bios to fix it to boot from the hard drive?

    Gosh Darn, I’m living proof that one can have just enough knowledge to be dangerous!

    Posted April 18, 2005 @ 7:55 am

Write Comment