Friday, 18 February 2005

Xen lures big-name endorsements | CNET News.com... what's Xen? Well, it allows you to run several OSes on the same machine. Very handy for those Linux buffs who have to contend with Windowsland. And possibly quite handy for those tentative people who may just want to see what the penguin is all about without leaving the safety (but not security) of Windowsland. So this endorsement is not only massive, but very healthy.

Some would argue that the OS market should not really be a competitive market (linux people, mainly) because all the OS should really do is allow application software to talk to hardware. Indeed Linux, like unix, differentiates between the core OS kernel and the window (UI) system - you can get different 'windows' for linux: KDE, Gnome, or even good old xwin. Microsoft doesn't differentiate the two in Windows because it would clearly reduce dependency on Windows. I'd argue that their punishment for monopolistic practices should be exactly that: split the kernel from the GUI (rather than the favoured option of splitting the OS division from the apps division). That would expose the real value discrepancy in their product: that they value the kernel, but the majority of their customers value the GUI (and only then through familiarity).

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