Monthly Archives: October 2018

On Windows, part 2

Here I am on my cozy Arch Linux machine, enjoying the good life of customizability and modularity of, well, literally every component of the machine.

I look up the equivalent of DMG on Windows – apparently, DMG files also have built-in code-signing and checksum capabilities. The best part about a DMG file is that it is a multipurpose format: it can be mounted like a drive as a method of isolation, or it can be used to package a full software installation.

On Windows-land, there are only ZIP files, MSI installers, and whatever other breed of self-extracting archives and installers have been devised over the decades.

At this point, I realize that Windows is fundamentally outdated. Unable to keep up with the breakneck development of Mac OS X/macOS, Microsoft will be hard-pressed to sweep out deprecated APIs one by one.

The success of Windows is attributable to the fact that it has worked on every IBM-compatible PC since the late 1980s and has maintained a stellar record in software compatibility, a coveted characteristic of computer systems for enterprises looking to minimize software development costs. By comparison, the Macintosh has experienced various leaps in architecture, notwithstanding the high cost of the machine.

I think that the market is in need of a well-designed, uncomplicated Linux distribution that is accessible and familiar to consumers, all the while being enticing for OEMs to deploy. Such a distro would not be another Ubuntu – although it could well be Ubuntu, since Canonical has cemented its position in the open-source world. The problem with Ubuntu, however, is that it has a reputation for advice that involves the command line. A distro that is consumer-oriented keeps the intimidating terminal away!

It would fill the niche market that Chrome OS dominated: lightweight, locked-down devices mostly for browsing the Web. The part where Chrome OS failed, however, was when companies wished to port native software that a web browser lacks the performance or capability to drive, such as anything involving hardware peripherals. With a Linux base, hardware interfacing need not be sacrificed.

Would such an operating system run into legal trouble if it came with Wine or an ability to install Wine when the first Windows program is installed? What if it could run Office seamlessly?

What if it began to make some revolutionary design decisions of its own?

Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore. Back to work.