What If They Replaced Windows With Microsoft Linux?

Following up on speculation from Eric Raymond and ZDNet contributing editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, open source advocate Jack Wallen imagines what would happen if Microsoft just switched over altogether from Windows to a Linux distro named “Microsoft Linux”:

A full-on Linux distribution released by Microsoft would mean less frustration for all involved. Microsoft could shift its development efforts on the Windows 10 desktop to a desktop that would be more stable, dependable, flexible, and proven. Microsoft could select from any number of desktops for its official flavor: GNOME, KDE, Pantheon, Xfce, Mint, Cinnamon… the list goes on and on. Microsoft could use that desktop as is or contribute to it and create something that’s more in-line with what its users are accustomed to…

[U]sers would very quickly learn what it’s like to work on a desktop computer and not have to deal with the daily frustrations that come with the Windows operating system. Updates are smoother and more trustworthy, it’s secure, and the desktop just makes more sense. Microsoft has been doing everything in its power to migrate users from the standard client-based software to cloud and other hosted solutions, and its software cash cow has become web-centric and subscription-based. All of those Linux users could still work with Microsoft 365 and any other Software as a Service (SaaS) solution it has to offer — all from the comfort and security of the Linux operating system…

If Microsoft plays its cards right, the company could re-theme KDE or just about any Linux desktop in such a way that it’s not all that different from the Windows 10 interface. Lay this out right, and consumers might not even know the difference — a “Windows 11” would simply be the next evolution of the Microsoft desktop operating system. Speaking of winning, IT pros would spend less time dealing with viruses, malware, and operating system issues and more time on keeping the network (and the servers powering that network) running and secure… Microsoft would be seen as finally shipping an operating system worthy of the consumer; the consumer would have a desktop operating system that didn’t deliver as many headaches as it did moments of actual productivity and joy; and the Linux community would finally dominate the desktop.

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