More Evidence That Windows 8 Takes its Cues from Linux

by Sam Dean - Sep. 20, 2011Comments (2)

Quick, when Microsoft gets accused of lifting ideas and deploying them as if they were invented in-house, which company is usually mentioned as the original innovator? If you said Apple, you're not alone. Microsoft has wrestled with charges of lifting ideas from Apple ever since it first delivered a graphical operating system. However, as the Windows 8 beta test starts to take shape, it's becoming clearer and clearer that Windows 8 leverages ideas from Linux.

On Seeking Alpha, Dana Blankenhorn, who has written widely about open source and Linux, notes this with regard to Windows 8:

"Like many of you, I've been looking at it in comparison with Apple. Apple supports multiple operating systems. It supports Mac OSX Lion on the desktop. It supports iOS on its tablets and phones. Microsoft is going at things a different way. Windows 8 is designed to work in conjunction with its Azure cloud, on a desktop and (through the Metro interface) on media tablets and phones as well. One operating system to rule them all, I wrote. How silly! How trite! How impossible. But it's not impossible at all. It's Linux, whose biggest distributor is Red Hat."

Indeed, many aspects of the quite new approach that Microsoft is taking with its latest version of Windows echo Linux. There are even reports that Microsoft may open the Windows interface so that users can take advantage of different desktop environments, as I wrote here:

"A healthy ecosystem of third-party desktop interfaces and environments for Windows might introduce a new level of flexibility that enterprises and consumers alike would embrace. Developers of interfaces and environments might work as the open source community does, introducing new desktop concepts that could benefit Microsoft as well as users."

In response to that post I wrote, one OStatic reader responded with this: "When pigs fly. Microsoft will never open up their system (virus) to the public." 

Well, it is true that a number of aspects of Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy seem to parallel Linux. If nothing else, it goes to show that as any modern operating system matures and benefits from innovation, it influences other platforms too. No OS rides alone.

 



John Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?



2 Comments
 

"Quick, when Microsoft gets accused of lifting ideas and deploying them as if they were invented in-house, which company is usually mentioned as the original innovator? If you said Apple, you're not alone."


And why do people not accuse Apple from getting its ideas from Xerox PARC? The mouse and the GUI are from PARC.


0 Votes

From a consumers point of view it is fine if good ideas are lifted when ever there is anything to "lift", the sad thing is all the rubbish with patents and the like that makes it all a jungle of stupid litigation where all the energy is in litigation and not in innovation.

And well, Unix, for some reason, is sound from the beginning while Windows is an accident, so why would Windows not finally take some cues from Linux. They have had close to twenty years of having no clue.


0 Votes
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