Sep 29, ’10 8:30 AM Author Horace Dediu Unix's Revenge Asymco
With QNX now firmly roadmapped at RIM and Android spreading among vendors like a virus, I wanted to point out that these operating systems share one ancestor: Unix.
A technical triumph
Technically Linux, which underlies Android, among others, is walled off from Unix from an IP point of view, but the philosophical and architectural lineage goes back to 1969′s Unix. It was an amazingly well thought-out operating system which has stood the test of time mostly due to its modular architecture. It was not always clear that Unix would make it this far, and in many ways it was written off.
There is some poetic justice in its comeback. Unix could have become a default for desktop computers. When Windows emerged from the shadow of DOS, Microsoft had the option to base NT on a flavor of Unix. But Bill Gates, no doubt motivated by license fee considerations, hired a group of developers from Digital Equipment Corporation and many elements of the NT design reflect earlier DEC experience with VMS and RSX-11. Microsoft went with that new architecture rather than Unix and that code lives on even in the current Windows 7.
With Ebola and Chikungunya viri now threatening, is the Android virus the next wave? Too bad you can't call in sick and say you have a bad case of Windows.