The Unix Heritage Society mailing list
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Dan Cross <>
To: steve jenkin <>
Cc: TUHS <>, Marc Donner <>
Subject: [TUHS] Re: Has this been discussed on-list? How Unix changed Software.
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2022 09:20:48 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Wed, Sep 7, 2022 at 1:16 AM steve jenkin <> wrote:
> There’s an estimated 200M-250M “Personal Computers” in active use - 10% of all active devices. Even if all run Microsoft and not Chromebooks, MS-Windows is now a minor player.

This is true, but in some sense has always been true, in that the
number of embedded devices using microcontrollers and so forth has
always dwarfed the number of desktop PC-class computers in the world
(or, rather, has always done so for since the late 70s or so, I'd

However, to call Windows a minor player is to ignore the importance of
the applications that run on those desktop machines (and laptops,
etc). The PC might be on the decline in absolute market terms, but it
seems obvious that for specialist applications we're going to need
something resembling it for the foreseeable future.

> I’ve no idea how big the fleet of servers powering “The Cloud” in Datacentres is, but inferring from power consumption, it’s measured in millions.

Aggregated across all the major players, I'd put the number at tens of
millions, possibly in excess of 100 million at the high end of the
estimate range.

> Only MS-Azure provide Windows instances and then it runs on top of a hypervisor, not bare metal. Is MS Hyper-V derived from a Unix variant? If not, is certainly influenced by VMware & Xen which were.

First, a factual correction: at least Google's cloud and I'm fairly
certain AWS can run Windows, not just Azure.

Second, I have it directly from folks who worked on Hyper-V that it is
neither based on Unix/Linux, nor strongly influenced by either VMWare
or Xen. It was an entirely in-house project at MSFT that probably
includes more DNA strands from Windows than Unix et al. Some of the
stories about clashes with Cutler to change the Windows startup
sequence to accommodate Hyper-V are interesting (short version:
Cutler, in typical fashion, didn't want to and early versions of
Hyper-V basically booted under windows, then "took over" the running
machine so that Windows resumed, but suddenly in a VM where it had not
been before).

> To a first approximation, 90%+ of ‘computers' now run a Unix variant. [ disregarding the larger fleet of embedded devices, especially in cars ]
> As you say, UNIX & its variants broke the monopoly / lock-in of software by hardware vendors.

The above notwithstanding, I absolutely believe these numbers. Unix
and its derivatives (most notably Linux) have become the de-facto
platform for modern computation, as you conclude.

        - Dan C.

  reply	other threads:[~2022-09-07 13:23 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 31+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-09-05 23:48 [TUHS] " steve jenkin
2022-09-06 16:09 ` [TUHS] " Marc Donner
2022-09-07  4:00   ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07 14:58     ` John Cowan
2022-09-07 17:13     ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 14:12       ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-07  5:15   ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07 13:20     ` Dan Cross [this message]
2022-09-07 13:52       ` Steve Nickolas
2022-09-07 12:53 ` [TUHS] STDIN/OUT vs APIs [was: How Unix changed Software] Brian Zick
2022-09-07 13:19   ` [TUHS] " John Cowan
2022-09-07 15:39     ` Joe
2022-09-07 15:43       ` John Cowan
2022-09-07 16:01         ` Charles H Sauer (he/him)
2022-09-06 15:07 [TUHS] Re: Has this been discussed on-list? How Unix changed Software Douglas McIlroy
2022-09-06 17:13 ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-07  1:40 ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07  2:33   ` segaloco via TUHS
2022-09-07  4:08     ` Steve Jenkin
2022-09-07 13:08   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-09-07 14:56   ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-07 21:27     ` Steve Jenkin
2022-09-07 22:36       ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-08 14:42       ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 15:02         ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-08 15:04         ` ron minnich
2022-09-08 15:52           ` Warner Losh
2022-09-08 16:47             ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 16:50             ` segaloco via TUHS
2022-09-08 17:58               ` ron minnich
2022-09-06 19:04 Douglas McIlroy

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).