Re: Linus should really learn from Microsoft
It's a curious flavour of Linux that dominates smartphones today, chosen as it was in a hurry to bring iPhone-competitors to market.
I've often wondered if it could be called "Linux" at all. My own humble opinion is that it could, at most, be described as being Linux-ish, but is not Linux because it's a separate source code tree (albeit one with a lot of the same source code). By extension that means I don't believe that RedHat's kernels are Linux either.
One may consider the system calling interface to be the only worthwhile definition of what makes something "Linux" (because that's the only thing all the variations maintain consistently across the board). Code compiled for x86 Linux will run on RedHat, a stock kernel, Ubuntu, Android for x86 (distro dependencies permitting).
The thing is, Solaris, QNX, FreeBSD and Windows all support the Linux system calling interface these days to a greater or lesser extent. So does that make them "Linux" too? By this particular definition, yes it does. Is that completely bonkers? I'm not sure.
For example, Microsoft could (with a fair bit of work) emit a bastardised version of Windows 10 that lacks the Windows services and userland stuff, but has Windows Subsystem for Linux, an entire Ubuntu userland / init, booting into Gnome. It would run more or less like Ubuntu. It would look like Ubuntu. Linux apps would run on it just fine. From a user's point of view, it would be an Ubuntu. Certainly most non-technical users would be unable to distinguish the difference. But underneath it'd be a WindowsNT kernel masquerading as a Linux kernel.
Google's Project Treble, which will turn Linux into a microkernel (snarfle!) is even less Linux than Android is today. Is there a trademark on "Linux"?
Windows Mobile, just about dead, obviously wasn't Linux based. BB10, Unix-like, is dead, though the proprietary OS it's based on, QNX, is alive and well because it's superior to Linux for some applications (it's smaller, Real Time and very well tested) including industrial control.
It's a pity about BB10. As a mobile OS it was really, properly good from purely technical point of view. Still is. It was just way too late. Whilst everyone has struggled to shoe-horn desktop sized OSes into battery powered devices (with laughable battery consumption as a result, at least to begin with), BB10 was the right sized OS from the very start.
QNX is indeed alive and well and pretty good, in part because BlackBerry gave it good GUI libraries and tools (something it'd lacked prior to then). The proper real time-ness and the GUI stuff makes for some pretty slick in car entertainment systems.