Reply to TLG: The Half-Great, Half-Garbage Idea For Windows To Become Linux-based.
This video is a direct response to "Will Microsoft turn Windows 10 into a yet another Linux Distro?" by TLG. As developers of distributions, and with knowledge of the modern day computer users, we really had to speak on this video.
I know, web-applications are the worst things ever designed, but the fact of the matter is that they will take over. We aren't the only people to know that desktops and probably most forms of laptops are going to become niche. Remember that one Apple ad that got everyone meme-ing Apple for the... once-thought dumbest quote ever invented?
Yeah the "What's a computer?" ad. It isn't hard to think that maybe, just maybe, that Apple just predicted the future. While many believe that desktop computers are "the now and forever," but in reality this is not the case. The 1980's put the mark of death against powerful computers (at least in many situations). While we never knew at the time, or even most of us still, 40 years ago the internet had finally put targets against the back of millions of software developers.
It wouldn't be until 2006 we saw the invention of the most important web-application to date, Google Docs. Google Docs was basically the beginning of the end for desktops, while it is a slow end, it is nearing. More and more companies, students, schools, work places, etc, use Google Docs. Two years prior in 2004, Gmail came out. Google has power, not for it is large, but it knows where things are going. Ever wondered why Google is using misleading and almost illegal advertising for the Chromebook lines recently? Well Chromebooks are the future. Well, maybe not Chromebooks themselves, but the kind of idea is. There are three major web-OS's in the Linux field, one is in development, one in production, and one in planning. These OS's being Ubuntu Web (in development), ChromeOS (in production), and DotOS (in planning, and a Fivnex X DotHQ partnership). We even have our own personal web-focused OS, but more meant for mobile. Mobile devices (like phones and tablets) are the real focus.
I have been wanting to write a book on the matter but development is taking most of my time up right now. But what does this have to do with Microsoft making what is essentially a Linux distribution? Well, to be honest, quite literally everything. Distribution teams like us and the Ubuntu Unity/Ed/Web teams both know desktops at least don't have forever. While they aren't going to die too soon from now, I doubt that Windows 10 changing platforms will save them any money as a corporation.
What people don't tend to understand is that making a distribution is actually expensive (if done right). Even we, with a team of only unpaid volunteers, have fairly large expenses. All of them coming from domains as providers like GitHub (and GH Pages), Netlify, Discord, FossHost, and many others give their services for free, it is still expensive to pay for those domains. We will also have future costs, like actually paying people. Microsoft has to pay lots of money for their OS to be created. Moving to a Linux base has one major pro, gaming and professional applications. While people have online video editing tools, online video sharing tools, online Photoshop alternatives, online chat, online finances, online office, online taxes, online social media, online programming, online code hosting, online server management, online video surveillance apps, and the list continues, there will be a couple of applications meant for the professionals. People who can't benefit from web-applications. Ever wondered why Adobe is so expensive? It targets professionals who can pay the costs.
Windows 10 has always had two main supports for life: Gaming, professional creation. Their best bet is to leave the desktop space all together and focus on making applications and Azure. I am pretty sure they even know this too. Microsoft on desktop is doomed, but so is Linux if we can't adapt fast enough. Luckily developers who will do that stuff exist. Will desktop completely die? No, but desktop software that is not web-focused is losing market share to the web. Desktop operating systems that don't evolve will become niche, and for people who make web applications.
So Windows 10 should just collapse, right? No. Moving to a Linux base doesn't have DIRECT monetary value, but once they move over, so will developers. More apps will be made for Linux, games and professional software become available, and Microsoft can focus on providing development tools dedicated for web services. Microsoft switching to Linux is them ceding to servers and development. They already own and maintain TypeScript, Azure, C#, Edge, and other web/development tools that will be more profitable than Windows 10 in the coming years of the internet take over.
When Microsoft finally decides it is best to spend its money on focusing on the future (Azure, TypeScript, etc.) we the Linux community should be welcoming. It is unlikely to happen soon, but Microsoft probably knows that it already has the future in its hands, and even with Xbox and MS Office, I hope they at least make the transition simple. Web applications are the future, like it or not. I sure as hell don't want Web apps to take over, but destiny is destiny.