Microsoft Windows 11… with Linux kernel?

Windows Subsystem Linux

A real madness, right? The title already seems like a joke, but it has been commented by someone who does not usually say too much stupid and who knows the industry well. In fact, it was the same person who told me that Linus Torvalds would return after his temporary cessation of command of Linux in Linux version 4.20 and he did. Right after announcing kernel version 4.19, Torvalds took control of his project again. I am referring to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, for those of you who don't know ...

And now he has dared something as strong as this news. Will it be right again? The truth is that it is true or not, this news would like many as well as alarm many others. But that next Windows 11 is based on the Linux kernel Instead of Microsoft's Windows NT kernel, it would be far more shocking news than Richard Stallman giving a speech at Microsoft headquarters.

Steven is based on that the numerous problems of Windows 10 in which you will almost dislike for update they have a complicated basic problem to solve. The numerous releases of Windows 10 have brought from problems that prevent certain computers from starting, other updates that leave the WiFi connection unusable, another that deleted files without your consent from certain folders, and a long etc., that does not seem to stop.

Yesterday when I heard this news I was joking with a friend about whether Linux will come to correct Microsoft Windows problems or if Microsoft will come to spoil Linux. But no kiddingLet's go to what Steven has commented to make that assumption. He thinks that faced with problems as serious as those in Windows 10, desperate measures may be necessary. Would this be good for the Linux world? I sincerely doubt it, and I would prefer that everything continues as it is, because it could lead to many distro projects ...

Steven has toyed with this idea for many years, but now he seems to be taking it more seriously due to recent events. For users there would be no change, the next Windows would not have changes, except that the kernel that moves everything would be Linux and not NT. That would mean all native software running on Linux. But personally I see several problems with this, on the one hand that it is likely that there is no such Windows 11 due to the current policy of updates as a rolling-release from Microsoft.

On the other hand, to carry all the software to run on Linux it would be a brutal effort. Although for that, Steven says that there are already very advanced projects. It is based on the fact that WSL (Windows Subsystem Linux) is already there, and also projects like Wine and other implementations such as CrossOver and Valve Proton for Steam. That already has a lot of "translated" system calls or syscalls to work on Linux.

Currently, projects like those mentioned do not work at all fine because Microsoft has the closed code of its API and they do not have full functionality. But if Microsoft provided what machinery like Wine lacks, it would have what it takes to "grease" it and make the native software work like a charm. This on the other hand could be beneficial collaterally with GNU / Linux due to what it would contribute, but also destructive if it manages to capture the attention of users who now run a GNU / Linux distro.

Anyway, this is not a fact currently. And although Linux is the most used in the Microsoft Azure platform, and although they have opened a lot of code, released some tools for Linux, bought GitHub, contributed code to the Linux kernel, and are even members of the Linux Foundation, I'm not sure if the future goes out there or rather the future is in the cloud ...

Would you like to see a Windows X with a Linux kernel? Do not forget to leave your comments with what you think ... I repeat that, although the success of Linux in the definitive desktop sector seems, it could have serious consequences. Do you remember the EEA (Embrace, Extend and Extinguish)? Watch out! I already commented something similar in the article about the exFAT case.


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  1.   akhenaton @ pop-os # said

    I think the only benefit we would get would be improvements to the Nvidia drivers ...
    For the rest, many problems would migrate to GNU / Linux

  2.   Diego German Gonzalez said

    You have to understand that Satya Nadella's Microsoft is not the same as Bill Gates's. In fact, the one Steve Ballmer left was no longer.
    Microsoft stopped being a product company to be a service company. Basically from cloud services. Today you can pay for the (corporate) license of WIndows with a monthly subscription together with Microsoft Office. What they are interested in is having companies that pay the Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Azure quota and developers who use their tools to create applications such as GitHub and Visual Studio.
    I don't think that having the source code of an application is too expensive to port it to Linux. In fact, they can take the OpenOffice base code (the LibreOffice code cannot for a licensing issue) change the interface, make it compatible with Microsoft formats and put Microsoft Office 2020 on it.
    I don't have the technical knowledge to know if upgrading to a Linux kernel would be difficult, but there were Linux distributions that were installed from a Windows application so I guess it wouldn't be impossible.

    1.    Jose Ramon Gomez said

      I would not like it will bring many problems and we are fine Linux as it is I have been using it since 1989 and I do not remember windows greetings

  3.   Jithor said

    Linux users will continue to use GNU / Linux, Debian and Mint and Kali on my almost. And Windows can get behind your WinDOS with linux kernel. I will not fall into that network.

    1.    Robert said

      1 Option:
      There is so much ignorance in the person who wrote this blog post.
      2 Option:
      Clickbait at the highest level.

      Anyway, I'm disappointed that I wasted my time reading this "information"

      1.    Miguelito said

        Bill Gate already did it with Steve Job, and now he wants to do it with Linux, it will not change, when he sees himself with the rope around his neck he resorts to what we call the scavenger world. Each one at home and Linux at everyone's.

    2.    gerar said

      1989? you are founder

  4.   Jithor said

    Linux users will continue to use GNU / Linux, Debian and Mint and Kali in my case. And Windows can get behind your WinDOS with linux kernel. I will not fall into that network.

    1.    pepper said

      Yes, of course it is the best to waste time with a computer, I agree. You are more time fiddling with the system, customizing and changing things for entertainment than doing something with your programs.

  5.   Deby said

    It would not be GNU / Linux but Win / Linux and we will soon use GNU / Hurd, everyone happy

    1.    Dark said

      This post is very misinformed. Please re-investigate (WSL).

      1.    M0 said

        The most accurate comment.

  6.   MKF said

    microsoft is NOT a FRIEND of the PENGUIN and as soon as it can raise the temperature and throw it into the sea.

  7.   Giancarlo said

    I think it would be great !! If Microsoft does that, it means that all proprietary drivers, indispensable professional proprietary software (Autocad or Adobe's suite), and AAA games would all be natively compatible with Linux. Which would benefit the users of the usual distros

  8.   adeplus said

    I don't think that happens on the "desk" ... Maybe to put together a new line of servers because they are eating your toast. Yes, it is okay for everyone to want azure but all tenants bring their furniture and appliances.

    Everyone talks about the ecosystem and I think that building a new one from the kernel is quite complicated, not only technically. Neither with the arrival of new devices could they sink their teeth into having almost everything. And with "traditional" devices, I don't think they will give up their current share of the pie in something that would not have much acceptance considering the resistance to change of more than 50% of current Windows users.

    1.    jors said

      I would like a pinball game on GNU / Linux

  9.   The Nuts said

    Well… it's not all bad… there is already plenty of proprietary software and blobs running on Linux, and unless you use an FSF approved distro you are not without sin. Now if Microchof does switch to the Linux kernel, I imagine they will take it, tweak it, and release it only for their different Linux "distros", leaving the Torvald kernel on its way. The downside is that hackers will also port to Linux and we will start to have viruses and various shits, although thanks to the community, as has always happened, the discovered holes are always closed in a matter of a day or two. As for the software and drivers, Linux would benefit from having the flagships of the proprietary software, and the drivers from Nvidia and others. In general it will be a good thing, although it is true that some distros would fall, the main ones will continue as if nothing, and the fsf distros will continue to exist because there will always be purists.

  10.   Santiago said

    As the saying goes "if you can't beat your enemy, join him." And this is what Microsoft is doing, which I don't think is beneficial for Linux; since the problems that Windows always has would end up migrating.

    1.    Gaelsd said

      Nuances as in everything. Advantages and disadvantages for both, although more dramatic in Linux. I think that MS instead of fighting, wants to take advantage of the fact that free software does not put any but for it to eat something like android and google. You use it, you modify it to your needs, then if you put locks and plas! Earnings with much less investment. Who says they don't end up making a vile distro, only with their own logos and proprietary parts. There is Red Hat, doing business. It obviated the income and growth of the project, but not because of its beauty, but because it can be used. There is google as the largest investor in firefox. Or those that use wine as a base for their own projects (I do not mention the names), but in fact one does not even share the improvements.

      The biggest advantage is that it would force companies to have greater compatibility with the kernel and that is good, but maybe it would bring down many projects that could not compete. Difficult to analyze that. Also there would be a bit of a market to MS to almost exclusive linux places like supercomputers. Nor would I let Linux continue to get into areas that Windows could not, such as the Internet of Things, scientific and research waves in which it is strong and growing.

      I think that's where the idea goes. This free and free take advantage of it and steal the market that would only be for linux instead of being stolen from you.

      In the end I think it could hurt more than help.

      1.    Devilolinux said

        In my humble opinion Microsoft what it is looking for is a false union and eliminate its greatest competition from within, linux does not need microsoft but microsoft does need linux, since 2005 I do not use windows or anything from microsoft neither personally nor in work

  11.   Javier said

    Many comments from the unknown, Microsoft was one of the first companies to commercialize Unix with Microsoft Xenix released in 1980, the first Unix clone at the hands of Linus torvalds was released in 1991 and it was only in Kernel. Microsoft in that sense is closer to Linux than Linux itself. even if it seems crazy. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_XENIX

  12.   Twikzer said

    If you "adopt" the linux kernel as is, and windows adapts to it and its perfect "philosophy", good drivers and professional applications for everyone. but if they do some intermediate layer or api, to adapt to the kernel, very surely the drivers and applications for the new windows will only work with that new windows, no matter how much linux kernel it has.

  13.   George said

    I think they are confusing WSL 2.0 that integrates the Linux Kernel when launching native Ubuntu within windows 10, WSL 2.0 is a tremendous advance in this regard since it is not virtualization like WSL 1. (Windows subsitem for linux). I can already use Ubuntu integrated into Windows 10 with WSL 1 and in fact even install XServer (Xfree) and run Nautilus with an Xserver like Xming

  14.   Dj firehouse said

    We all know that Linux has always been a "role-less" operating system but there are always problems to be solved, as Windows has always had system problems with regard to the kernel, as much as the Mac that has changed the market but Windows is more popular. As far as the market is concerned, software companies prefer Windows to Mac because they are more popular. The idea is to sell, sell and sell and win and win, which is what a company wants to progress without any problems like Ubuntu, which for me is useless, in my case windows xp and windows 7 ultimate, which is the best operating system stable and reliable for all desktop and personal greetings.

  15.   Devilolinux said

    In my humble opinion Microsoft what it is looking for is a false union and eliminate its greatest competition from within, linux does not need microsoft but microsoft does need linux, since 2005 I do not use windows or anything from microsoft neither personally nor in work

  16.   Mauricio Jaime Baquero said

    It would not be kernel panic calling a function of panic.c, but kernel64.sys calling panic.bin and with the famous blue background.

  17.   LI Ariel Gonzalez said

    In my opinion, it is good news that Windows, a system as well known and used by 70% of users as Nucleo to Linux, that is fantastic, today it would be a true operating system. Congratulations to Microsoft on its wise decision and to Linux for its acceptance, now we look forward to that Distribution. Meanwhile I continue with KDE Linux.

  18.   Felipe Gutierrez said

    What Microsoft could do is keep the Windows NT kernel and incorporate Linux into the subsystems of the environment, as a virtual machine.

  19.   Victor said

    I see it very difficult, for 2 great reasons:

    one-. the issue of licenses:

    Let's remember the fact that Linux is released under the GNU license and this would probably force a Windows version with Linux to be open source.

    two-. technical reasons: the fact of changing the kernel and the compatibility with existing applications is quite complex. Let us bear in mind that windows is a system rich in applications, libraries, drivers, etc. and porting all that to a linux kernel is very difficult, they would have to develop a program that emulates the windows services in linux

  20.   Javier said

    I don't understand what the problem would be. What problems did Google bring with Android?

    Nor does it seem absurd to me that a corporation like MS adopts open source in its projects. What they are interested in is not selling software, they are interested in selling services.

  21.   John walker said

    It would be great for MS users. Provavelmente MS would use a modified kernel, also like fizeram com or edge (modified chromium), say that finally do not have a browser bem melhor do que tinham before? I did not think that isso would harm linux distros, tão pouco or kernel linux itself.

  22.   BEEDELL ROKE JULIAN LOCKHART said

    Obviously, this is unfortunately not true.