World without Linux

An insight into a world without Linux...

DATELINE: WindowsWorld 2008: Microsoft CEO and President, Steve Ballmer was happy as a clam today at his WindowsWorld keynote in San Francisco's Gates Center. "Nothing can make me happier to tell you that, Larry Page CEO of Google," a niche AOL search engine, "has agreed to run their search engine on Windows Server 2004."

Ballmer continued, "It can only be good that even Google's customers finally have access to a real server. Unix had its place, but, come on, that old command-line driven thing? Unix hasn't been businesses' operating system of choice since NT was introduced."

Ballmer also announced that Windows Longhorn for Personal Computers would be released, after nine years of development, "sometime in 2011 for a list price of [US]$799." This made the fourth time in the 21st century that Ballmer had announced that Longhorn would be released soon. In the meantime, users will have to make the best of Windows 98 XP.

At this point in his keynote speech, there was a disturbance in the front as a group of demonstrators started shouting "GNU-HURD! GNU-HURD! GNU-HURD!" The police quickly hustled them away.

Ballmer then finished his speech with the long expected announcement that "With the purchase of AOL behind us, you can be certain that the benefits of MS-AOLNet, formerly known as the Internet, will be extended to every household for the reasonable rate of [US]$59.95 a month dial-up."

Still, some people reflected on the cryptic protest message after the speech.

"GNU-HURD? Oh, I remember that it was an attempt to build a free operating system," said one developer. "Free software used to be a big deal," reflected an analyst sitting near them. "But, it's license, what was it-GLOP?-made it impossible for anyone to make money off it so it came to nothing. I mean there were all these crazy Web developers working on free Web servers, what was it called, Comanche, Apache, something like that, but since they didn't have the APIs for NT or W2K server so it never worked right. Now, Microsoft's newly released Internet Information Server V, that's a Web server!"

"Yeah," reflected one programmer, afterwards. "A lot of people liked free software, GNU C, their C programming language was actually pretty cool, but once, Microsoft changed the internals of their libraries, it was all over for that language. There was also a scripting language, PERL--you know, like the gemstone--that was good too, but who the heck uses out-of-date scripting languages now that we have Visual.Basic#?"

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