It is almost surreal how XP is still relevant after 16 years.
On the contrary, it is almost surreal that a product launched 16 years ago is deemed to be ancient and in dire need of replacement. Mind, I do understand the reasons for getting rid of Windows XP (or refraining from using it in the first place which has always been the better strategy) but it is telling of the haphazardness of the general computing industry that these products are so fragile.
The problem is not its fragility, it’s just that an OS needs to be constantly updated: be it to support new formats, fix newly found vulnerabilities and implement new features.
Nobody says anything that Ubuntu has a new version twice a year, they just keep the same name, that’s all.
There should be no need for the OS to be updated ‘to support new formats’, that is the job of services and applications built on top of the OS. If ‘everything is a file’ (unix) the OS only needs to know how to handle files. The problem here is that the definition of ‘operating system’ has been widened to encompass services which do need to be kept up-to-date. If Windows XP only handled the basics - scheduler, memory management, basic user management, IO - there would be a far smaller attack surface and with that a lower number of new vulnerabilities to fix.
Why bring up Ubuntu by the way? This is not a Windows-vs-the-world thing so there is no need to get defensive by pointing out similar fragility in other systems. I pointed a finger at ‘the general computing industry’, not just at Microsoft.
While I get the sentiment, I think this is mostly a wording issue - since the kernel is not Windows but Windows NT Kernel. That is still going on and being developed.
The issue is the fact that if it is only the kernel, there is not that much money to be made. Afterall no development is separate from the economics of the real world.
…which is one of the reasons why the Linux kernel became the dominant factor in computing it is nowadays. The GPL licence has been an important factor in allow Linux to achieve its dominant status since it has made it possible to keep all improvements to the kernel together in one canonical version which can be used by anyone and everyone. It would not surprise me in the least if Microsoft eventually moves its Windows stack to the Linux kernel to rid itself of the maintenance burden since, as you already noticed, the real money lies in the tools built on top of a kernel.
Yes that is true. Albeit I doubt MS would move away from Windows NT Kernel, especially since;
I think MS just realises while they won the PCs, they lost the servers and mobile - and is acting accordingly. They earn way more than enough with Windows, so doubt they’d even need to consider that kind of a cost cutting measure.