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Eric Raymond thinks Microsoft is ready to swap out the Windows kernel for Linux

According to one open source advocate, Microsoft is going to start distributing Linux with a Windows emulation layer on top of it, and Eric Raymond has a few reasons for thinking this to be the case.

According to a blog post penned by open-source advocate Eric Raymond, Microsoft is finally ready to give up on that old relic it called Windows, which doesn’t even generate enough revenue anymore to be more than a “sideshow” at the company. Raymond says that now that Azure makes so much more money than Windows does, the firm is set to replace Windows with Linux, which will run an emulation layer in order to maintain compatibility with legacy apps.

The only problem is that none of that is true. Despite stagnant growth, Windows revenue is still among the most profitable pieces of Microsoft. Azure is set to surpass that someday, but that day is not today. Nevertheless, Raymond thinks that the more that this happens, the less Windows will be as a priority for Microsoft, and eventually, Windows development simply won’t make sense.

“Looked at from the point of view of cold-blooded profit maximization, this means continuing Windows development is a thing Microsoft would prefer not to be doing. Instead, they’d do better putting more capital investment into Azure – which is widely rumored to be running more Linux instances than Windows these days.”

The speculation that Microsoft cares less about Windows than it once did (it’s not even really speculation) isn’t new, and it stands to reason that the firm will care even less down the line. But Raymond not only looks at Microsoft’s finances as evidence; he looks at clues that are right in front of us. Those clues are, you guessed it, the Windows Subsystem for Linux and Microsoft’s Edge browser coming to Linux.

The latter is actually pretty easily explained, since it took such little work to bring Edge to…

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