Imagine if, when a Windows version became outdated (So anything before Windows 8, I guess), Microsoft made it available in the public domain.

We could have Windows distributions, just like Linux! Imagine how weird it would sound if you just said to your Linux-using friend, 'Oh yeah, I use arch!' and they replied 'Oh, me too! I love Arch Linux!', and you just stare at them and say:

'What's Linux? I only use Arch Windows.'


'Arch Windows? Are you stupid?', they would reply in utter disbelief.

We all know someone's gonna blurt out 'Yeah guys! I just downloaded Kali Windows so I could learn to hack, I don't know what you're talking about!'

Ah, good times.

  • 14
    Imagine if way back in the day Microsoft had decided that their future OS builds had been based on Xenix rather than DOS.

    All windows platforms could have been underpinned by a Unix platform. I wonder what new and original ways they would have found to break it.
  • 4
    @oudalally well, windows NT was born out of the work on OS2 when MS quit the collaboration with IBM and it had a xenix subsystem so it was pretty close.

    Dos only survived until win 98 (and no I don’t count the ...)
  • 1
    @Voxera Actually, the POSIX compliancy came from the Inteix platform which Microsoft bought out.

    Xenix was essentially a licensed version of System 7 from Bell Labs, but they couldn't license the name. It was a really nice OS too, very slick but took ages to install (I only ever did it one on an 8086 using 5 1/4" floppies. That was tedious...)

    The POSIX compliance in NT was actually a really slick implementation. We played with it for a brief period when trying to see if we could port a unit trust admin system to Windows from SCO, but didn't bother persisting as it would have been a lot more work than we first anticipated.
  • 1
    @oudalally your right, I mixed them up :/
  • 1
    @Voxera Tbh, I'm not sure why they didn't base their environment on Xenix, but I suspect that they didn't have the rights to make extensive modifications to it.

    It would be a very different ecosystem for Microsoft's applications now if they'd chosen Xenix as the underpinning for their modern OS's though.

    As it would be if they hadn't priced CP/M out of the market place.
  • 2
    @oudalally to be honest, I do not think MS have suffered from it though.

    So from an company economics perspective its hard to argue that they did it wrong :/
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