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Last post Author Topic: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.  (Read 6539 times)

40hz

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Easily one of the sanest and best reasoned articles I've seen so far on what Widows 8 promises and threatens for the future of personal computing.

Quote
The Next Twenty Years
Why the closed distribution model of Windows 8 must be changed for the sake of developers, consumers, and Microsoft itself.

For the first time in the history of the PC, Microsoft is rolling out a new Windows ecosystem for which they will be the sole software distributor. If you buy Windows 8, the only place you will be able to download software that integrates with its new user interface will be the official Windows Store. Microsoft will have complete control over what software will be allowed there.

Microsoft has stated that applications for the older desktop interface will remain unaffected by these policies. As long as they only use applications that run on the old desktop, users will still be able to buy, sell, develop, and distribute software without interference from Microsoft. Many Windows users have taken this as an assurance that the open distribution model that they enjoy today will still be available in future versions of Windows, and as a result, there has been far less public concern about Windows 8 than there might have otherwise been.

But how realistic is the assumption that the Windows desktop will still be a usable computing platform in the future? And what would be the consequences were it to disappear, leaving Windows users with only the closed software ecosystem introduced in Windows 8? To answer these questions, this volume of Critical Detail examines the immediate and future effects of Microsoft’s current certification requirements, explores in depth what history predicts for the lifespan of the classic Windows desktop, and takes a pragmatic look at whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better for Microsoft as a company.
.
.
.

Full article here.

Read it!

Carol Haynes

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I still think MS hope to dump the legacy desktop by Windows 9 (or failing that Windows 10) - they are already pushing Office 2013 as a service in not-Metro. Once Office has moved to not-Metro what is left on the Desktop for MS? Big businesses (like Adobe etc) will play along and move to not-Metro just to keep in with MS but the millions of small developers will be left floundering or having to cough up a large part of their profits to MS.

Trouble is Joe Public don't care - they are already moving into the computers as an appliance mode of thinking.

The whole process is going to garner a lot of support from MPAA etc. who will no doubt push to use streaming DRM delivery in not-Metro and iTunes to be the only channels for media delivery in future. They don't care that many people don't have the bandwidth to stream HD content but they will achieve a long-held dream - no desktop apps for playing media and the ability to cut off MS and Apple if they don't restrict the apps you can load onto not-Metro or iOS.

What is the betting Apple replace OSX with iOS within the next few versions?

The article following your article is also a concern:

Quote
Because no software can ship on this future platform without it going through the Windows Store, the team that built Skyrim would have to send it to Microsoft for certification. Then Microsoft would tell them if they could ship it.

Do you know what Microsoft’s answer would be?

I do. It would be “no”.

This is not speculative, it is certain. Skyrim is a game for adults. It has a PEGI rating of 18. If you read the Windows 8 app certification requirements you will find, in section 5.1:

Your app must not contain adult content, and metadata must be appropriate for everyone. Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed.

And that’s the end of it. No Skyrim for the Windows Store, unless of course the developers go back and remove all the PEGI 18-rated content.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 10:59:31 AM by Carol Haynes »

40hz

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^They'll probably adopt a wait & see to assess how much flack (if any) Microsoft's grand strategy generates.

If the majority of Windows users roll over and play dead, Apple will follow suit and make iOS the MacOS.

After that it's just a matter of Microsoft producing "certified" Windows machines by contracting with big players like Dell and HP in order to put the squeeze on the open OS world when it comes to finding hardware.

Microsoft will get around antitrust by not pulling Windows from everybody else - but they will insist on UEFI - AND "leave it up to the individual manufacturers" how they want to implement it. (Prediction: most manufacturers will eventually lock the UEFI in the name of "minimizing technical support calls" - but will provide an unlock mechanism - except you'll be made to jump through hoops to get the tool to unlock it.)

I don't expect to see much relief to consumers from the US government on this issue. Especially since it's now been fully bought and paid for by big media and other corporate interests.

Simple fact is, the US government (and most other governments for that matter) aren't too happy with all the high powered unrestricted PCs out there. They make hacking and secure encryption doable. They allow for anonymous usage. They drive demand for things  like MegaUpload and Pirate Bay. And they make things like Wikileaks and Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street possible.

It's too much unregulated power in the hands of too many people as far as today's governments are concerned.

Closed software ecosystems and walled gardens are a step towards greater regulation and control in areas where most western governments clearly lack the constitutional authority to regulate. True they can get around it with so-called executive orders or findings that blatantly defy the laws of the land. But that shows a certain lack of style. And could produce a public backlash (or rebellion) if done in too heavy handed a manner. So it's much preferred that a business or non-government entity implements things which effectively destroy privacy and foster greater surveillance and control - but without having that as their stated objective.

Once those mechanisms are in place, a government doesn't have to do anything - except not do anything to regulate or remove them.

That's what's called a "win-win" situation by some people. Mostly those in government and business. :-\
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 11:27:46 AM by 40hz »

tomos

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So, the future is *nix (?)
Tom

40hz

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So, the future is *nix (?)

Only as long as you can still get hardware to run it on.

And hopefully there will still be a platform more powerful than a Raspberry Pi (or its single-board cousins) once the dust finally settles.

TaoPhoenix

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Then again, Apple is *nix, but they just wrapped it all in a UI layer. That's what began bothering me about Ubuntu, which seems to be nudging towards Apple-Lite. "Look, it's *nix with a new UI layer and let's start (*currently* optional!) charging for it, and market it as its own OS, and hiding its Linux Roots."

However, Microsoft seems to like copying Apple and their other "Stores" haven't really worked very well. So as I mentioned in another post, this could be the "Super-Vista" flop and Win 9 or even Win 8 SP1-2 could reverse things back to sanity.


40hz

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The thing you need to remember about Microsoft is that they never give up. They're the tortoise who says "slow and steady wins the race."

Microsoft will push and push - and then relent if they sense too much push-back. But only to regroup and try again once the furor dies down. And they'll do it over and over until they either sell what they have or have a replacement waiting. Microsoft hates to admit they screwed up and write something off as a bad investment. Even long after everybody and his cousin realizes they have a total pooch on their hands. (Can you say: Zune, ClipIt, MSN or Bob?) They've traditionally played the long game by betting "affordable and good enough" will beat "insanely great" in the end.

This more recent move, however, is a bit of a departure for Microsoft. I'm guessing it's inspired more by envy (and the sinking sensation they may be leaving money on the table) than by anything else. Ballmer needs a big win to put on his headstone when he finally retires. So far he's got very little to point to. (Everybody knows Bill G. was the smarter and more tech savvy CEO anyway.) I think this attempt at a gradual shift over to a closed platform is what he's banking on to do it. And should actual innovation prove to not be enough, he can always unsheath that rusty old saber he just loves to rattle at the F/OSS camp: IP litigation.

Of course, there's always a very real danger in doing that:

appleproblem.jpg

As far as Ubuntu is concerned, they're only doing what many people (myself included) bet Mark Shuttleworth would do eventually. Their relative lack of commitment to the larger Linux community, and their sorry record for code contribution outside of their own projects, spoke volumes long before Unity reared its ugly little head or the Ubu app store appeared.

Cannonical is doing to Linux what almost everybody else has done to Android - taken as many cupcakes as they could get their hands on and run off to eat them all by themselves.

So be it. The GPL specifically permits you to do that. This is just the most blatant disregard for the social contract governing the Linux world we've seen to date. It makes RedHat's sellout to UEFI (and Suse's planned one if they can ever rationalize their contradictions enough for their own conscience) almost pale in comparison. Because whereas reaching an accommodation with UEFI licensing may prove to be unavoidable (both in theory and reality) turning your back and walking off on your own with nothing more than a pat on the shoulder and a quick "thank you" to Linux like Shuttleworth is doing sucks out loud. "Nyet kulturni" as my grandfather used to say. Just totally jive on Shuttleworth's part.

So it goes.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 01:36:45 PM by 40hz »

Carol Haynes

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How long do you give UEFI before it is hacked?

TaoPhoenix

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How long do you give UEFI before it is hacked?

It might take anywhere from a month to several based on the rage mana level of the hacker. Since it is a security feature you'd think MS would be putting some work into it, so it might take some time before the trick is found. But you bet eyes are in that direction already.

40hz

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How long do you give UEFI before it is hacked?

+1 w/Tao - although I'm more optimistic. Figure about a month assuming it isn't hacked before it's released. ;D

More seriously, the real problem will be if the manufacturers decide to insert a license clause which makes it a license violation to attempt to circumvent it. In particular, the "secure" boot part of UEFI.

Not that it will be enforceable. But it will start up the whole jailbreaking debate once again. :-\


Carol Haynes

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 03:02:48 AM »
Can't help wondering when the UEFI legal challenges will start, esp. in the EU.

If MS are really going to coerce a lockdown to cut out all competition I cant't see it going without challenge.

What no one has answered is if Windows baulks outside warranty what will users do? Given that OEM support is the responsibility of the OEM for Windows how many manufacturers are going to resolve problems without the current approach of "wipe it clean"? If they effectively lock out all boot time tools there may not be much choice. Not that they care, but what is going to happen to third party support businesses?

Renegade

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 05:59:54 AM »
Easily one of the sanest and best reasoned articles I've seen so far on what Widows 8 promises and threatens for the future of personal computing.

Very good article.


I don't expect to see much relief to consumers from the US government on this issue. Especially since it's now been fully bought and paid for by big media and other corporate interests.

Simple fact is, the US government (and most other governments for that matter) aren't too happy with all the high powered unrestricted PCs out there. They make hacking and secure encryption doable. They allow for anonymous usage. They drive demand for things  like MegaUpload and Pirate Bay. And they make things like Wikileaks and Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street possible.

It's too much unregulated power in the hands of too many people as far as today's governments are concerned.

Closed software ecosystems and walled gardens are a step towards greater regulation and control in areas where most western governments clearly lack the constitutional authority to regulate. True they can get around it with so-called executive orders or findings that blatantly defy the laws of the land. But that shows a certain lack of style. And could produce a public backlash (or rebellion) if done in too heavy handed a manner. So it's much preferred that a business or non-government entity implements things which effectively destroy privacy and foster greater surveillance and control - but without having that as their stated objective.

Once those mechanisms are in place, a government doesn't have to do anything - except not do anything to regulate or remove them.

That's what's called a "win-win" situation by some people. Mostly those in government and business. :-\

+1

Totalitarian tiptoe. 1 tiny step at a time...
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tomos

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2012, 06:25:40 AM »
Very off-topic:

Totalitarian tiptoe. 1 tiny step at a time...

the makings of a very good boardgame/name/slogan there
Tom

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 07:18:11 AM »
Very off-topic:

Totalitarian tiptoe. 1 tiny step at a time...

the makings of a very good boardgame/name/slogan there

Not exactly sure where the phrase originated, but I think it's from David Icke. I can imagine he'd come up with a *REALLY* wild game! :D Probably more accurate than the Steve Jackson game, but even those cards are scary accurate. Check the two on the top right here for something you might easily recognize (there are more):

221202illuminaticards.jpgHow Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.

Wonder what honoured place Windows & MS would take in that kind of game? :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Contro

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 07:48:56 AM »
The "technical" manipulations of the mind in windows 8 preview are clear for me. It's integrated in a system very dangerous where only can survive one....
This method brings unhappiness everywhere and is necessary give political answers, not political under the influence of the great corporations.
We are creating a very unconfortable society where nobody is safe.
When we begin to live ?
I hope that with more or less work we can change all that impositions that really come with each "new system".
 :-[

40hz

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2012, 08:08:36 AM »
Not that they care, but what is going to happen to third party support businesses?

Can't speak for Microsoft. But what I am seeing as a Microsoft Partner serving the SMB market isn't good.

The message I seem be hearing for the Partners is: You guys and gals have had it too easy. Windows and Office belong to Microsoft. It's ours! Our sales! Our support! OUR CUSTOMERS!!! And you've been riding on our coattails and profiting off of our products for too long. So...if you want to "partner" going forward, you're gonna need to do more. You're going to have to actively be selling our products to your customers. And creating add-on software that works with our products. No more just offering your consulting services or providing tech support.

And with UEFI/Secure Boot, it's up in the air what will happen to the smaller turnkey OEMs and boutique system builders when it comes to hardware as well.

Since Microsoft started its move towards more cloud-based initiatives (i.e. Office365 and Microsoft Online Services) I'm having trouble seeing where there's a future for a company like mine - unless we either want to become software developers, or spend our time selling Microsoft's online subscriptions from door to door.

The subtext I'm hearing is that SMBs shouldn't need or want maintain their own IT infrastructure. Just move everything up to the big shiny wonderland in the clouds. Let Microsoft do the heavy lifting - and provide end-user configuration and tech support. Pay monthly, no minimum, no money down, buy only what you need - add or remove subscriptions at will (great for when you get, then lose, summer interns and temps!) using a handy-dandy dashboard YOU manage.

It's pretty compelling argument for a cash strapped or prudent SMB.

Which brings us right back to the good old days in the 60s when everybody was paying big bucks to time-share on mainframes owned and tightly controlled by megacorps. And we (grudgingly) put up with it because it was the only game in town. Sperry Rand or IBM....take your pick boys! But now, Microsoft wants to bring back that same bad old game they themselves helped disrupt in the 80s. Except this time they want it played with their bat and ball. And by their rules. It's 2012 and the gloves have finally come off. Microsoft is no longer asking or suggesting. They're now telling us how it's gonna to work going forward. This new attitude became abundantly clear at the last CEBit when Microsoft basically told all the IT managers in attendance they'd better get with the program on Windows 8 - or else!

Brave new world indeed...

Everything the "computer people" of my generation ever hoped for and dreamed about - and worked our collective tails off to make a reality - is now being systematically dismantled by one of the companies that helped bring it into being.


Makes me sick...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 08:56:43 AM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2012, 08:26:18 AM »
Since Microsoft started its move towards more cloud-based initiatives (i.e. Office365 and Microsoft Online Services) I'm having trouble seeing where there's a future for a company like mine - unless we either want to become software developers, or spend our time selling Microsoft's online subscriptions from door to door.

I'm hearing shades of 1985 on this.
"Save the Microsoft Tower! 10 years ago it was hit by competition and it hasn't been the same since!"
"Great Scott!"
"Doc! What is it Doc?"

Bonus: Selling Girl Scout cookies to go on fields trips is so low tech. I'd love to see a YouTube video of a smart girl scout selling "cloud initiative solutions to raise money for our educational enrichment activities".


40hz

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2012, 08:39:34 AM »
Since Microsoft started its move towards more cloud-based initiatives (i.e. Office365 and Microsoft Online Services) I'm having trouble seeing where there's a future for a company like mine - unless we either want to become software developers, or spend our time selling Microsoft's online subscriptions from door to door.

I'm hearing shades of 1985 on this.
"Save the Microsoft Tower! 10 years ago it was hit by competition and it hasn't been the same since!"
"Great Scott!"
"Doc! What is it Doc?"


@Tao - Huh? I must be denser than usual this morning. You just lost me with that one... ;D

Renegade

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2012, 08:49:20 AM »
Not that they care, but what is going to happen to third party support businesses?

Can't speak for Microsoft. But what I am seeing as a Microsoft Partner serving the SMB market isn't good.

The message I seem be hearing for the Partners is: You guys and gals have had it too easy. Windows and Office belong to Microsoft. It's ours! Our sales! Our support! OUR CUSTOMERS!!! And you've been riding on our coattails and profiting off of our products for too long. So...if you want to "partner" going forward, you're gonna need to do more. You're going to have to actively be selling our products to your customers. And creating add-on software that works with our products. No more just offering your consulting services or providing tech support.

And with UEFI/Secure Boot, it's up in the air what will happen to the smaller turnkey OEMs and boutique system builders when it comes to hardware as well.

Since Microsoft started its move towards more cloud-based initiatives (i.e. Office365 and Microsoft Online Services) I'm having trouble seeing where there's a future for a company like mine - unless we either want to become software developers, or spend our time selling Microsoft's online subscriptions from door to door.

The subtext I'm hearing is that SMBs shouldn't need or want maintain their own IT infrastructure. Just move everything up to the big shiny wonderland in the clouds. Let Microsoft do the heavy lifting - and provide end-user configuration and tech support. Pay monthly, no minimum, no money down, buy only what you need - add or remove subscriptions at will (great for when you get, then lose, summer interns and temps!) using a handy-dandy dashboard YOU manage.

It's pretty compelling argument for a cash strapped or prudent SMB.

Which brings us right back to the good old days in the 60s when everybody was time-sharing on mainframes owned and controlled by a megacorp. And we lived like that because it was the only game in town. Sperry Rand or IBM....take your pick boys! And now, Microsoft wants to bring that bad old game (which they themselves disrupted in the 80s) back - except this time with their bat and ball. And their rules. The gloves have now come off. Microsoft is no longer asking or suggesting. They're now telling us how it's gonna to work going forward. This new attitude became abundantly clear at the last CEBit when Microsoft basically told all the IT managers in attendance they'd better get with the program on Windows 8 - or else!

Brave new world indeed...

Everything the "computer people" of my generation ever hoped and dreamed about - and worked our collective tails off for - is being systematically dismantled by one of the companies that brought it into being.


Makes me sick...

+1

I really like this thread, because I don't need to do jack. 40 has it all covered. :D

I've voiced my contempt and disdain for the "cloud" and "SaaS" and "subscriptions" in many places, and many times. This all is just a confirmation of all that.

At the end of the day, all of this is about 1 thing, and 1 thing ONLY:

CONTROL

You either have it, or you don't. Personally, I like having control of my own stuff. The guys over at The Pirate Bay understand this concept very deeply, and have worked very hard towards it on levels that few people understand. Hats off to them. They're doing a fantastic job at what they do.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TaoPhoenix

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2012, 09:09:07 AM »
Since Microsoft started its move towards more cloud-based initiatives (i.e. Office365 and Microsoft Online Services) I'm having trouble seeing where there's a future for a company like mine - unless we either want to become software developers, or spend our time selling Microsoft's online subscriptions from door to door.

I'm hearing shades of 1985 on this.
"Save the Microsoft Tower! 10 years ago it was hit by competition and it hasn't been the same since!"
"Great Scott!"
"Doc! What is it Doc?"


@Tao - Huh? I must be denser than usual this morning. You just lost me with that one... ;D

It was the part about selling Microsoft "person to person". I was reminded of the ongoing joke that people were soliciting funds to save the Clock Tower in Back to the Future. (Remember, it was struck by lightning in 1955 which was how Marty got home the first time, the only way they could get 1.21 Gigawatts of power to fuel the Flux Capacitor.)

"Save Microsoft! A once evil company is now led by Steve Ballmer. Save Microsoft! Won't you buy a subscription to Office?"

Carol Haynes

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2012, 09:26:47 AM »
The irony is I do sell MS products - but I can see LibreOffice becoming a favourite for my clients! Can't help feeling sheeple power will start to become effective as all these subscriptions start costing more than the electric bill!

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 09:39:55 AM »
The irony is I do sell MS products - but I can see LibreOffice becoming a favourite for my clients! Can't help feeling sheeple power will start to become effective as all these subscriptions start costing more than the electric bill!

As an MS partner, I've never sold an MS product. I can perfectly understand why someone would, but it's just one road that I've never wanted to go down.

As a developer for MS platforms, I'm willing to abandon it now because MS is simply too much like Apple and Google, i.e. too evil.

Evil on the desktop was one thing back when I didn't really care much about anything... But evil on the Internet now is an entirely different thing. (Yeah, IE and all that, but really... the whole IE thing is small potatoes compared to what is going on now.) Just my own take there and not really any measure of anything.

However, I'm stuck in that MS spider-web, and not fully able to extricate myself from it very easily. I'm simply stuck, and have no real options at the moment. I really hope that LibreOffice does very well, because that would really help me out of my predicament.
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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2012, 01:13:18 PM »
Win8 is just the latest take on the Active Desktop concept that Microsoft introduced after they missed the internet boat with regards to their Microsoft Network. AOL had something going in those days in the way of being the access portal of the internet (and still has some vestiges remain of that), and Microsoft wanted it. So IE, and that crazy channels feature, it all became a part of Windows. In the EU, they got their arses wiped because they cut out the competition.

Now they're doing it again. I truly hope the EU is on the ball with this one, and won't spend 5+ years coming up with an ineffective 'N' solution. It needs to be a hard 'keep the PC free for consumers; they own the thing!'

Alas. It's dark skies on that horizon.

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2012, 03:03:48 PM »
If you like playing with tarrot cards, you will love Windows 8. It's just that you'll have to play with tarrot all the time.

40hz

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Re: How Windows 8 hopes to change everything - and likely not for the better.
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2012, 03:24:28 PM »
Then again, Apple is *nix, but they just wrapped it all in a UI layer. That's what began bothering me about Ubuntu, which seems to be nudging towards Apple-Lite. "Look, it's *nix with a new UI layer and let's start (*currently* optional!) charging for it, and market it as its own OS, and hiding its Linux Roots."

Minor technical point which I'll make before somebody else does: OSX is loosely based on the Mach kernal as originally developed by Carnegie Mellon University. Mach traces its roots back to Unix and BSD - not Linux - although certain ideas found in the elusive (and perpetually "soon to be released") GNU Hurd also figured into the mishmash of operating system concepts that ultimately became OSX.

Apple eventually settled on the XNU kernal (developed by NeXT) which was a hybrid based on the Carnegie Mellon Mach 2.4 kernal, elements of BSD 4.3, and some code contributed by the FreeBSD project. Supposedly Apple broke with company tradition and went outside for code when its own development efforts for a "new" OS hit serious setbacks.

Once they had XNU, Apple did some additional core code work, developed a pretty wrapper for the customers, and the rest is history.

This is mostly of interest to technology history buffs. Wikipedia has a pretty good article about it if anybody is that interested.

Suffice to say Linux is a completely different beast, having little in common with OSX and vice-versa. The kernal incorporated into OSX also has zero code in common with the Linux kernal as maintained by Linus Torvalds & Co.
 8) :Thmbsup: