Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We Interrupt This Blog...

Hal Comments:

Somehow this seems like an appropriate forum to make an announcement that I've been in "stealth mode" about for some time now. But apparently details have leaked to the press and we're expecting some wild stories to be posted later today, and so I thought I'd blog about this personally, just to reduce the amount of misinformation that's going to be put out there.

For almost a year now, I've been working for Microsoft, helping to architect the next generation Windows operating system (the one that's coming after Windows 7). No one was more surprised than I that I accepted this position, but when I heard about the plans for the new operating system, I knew it was an offer I just couldn't refuse.

You see, Microsoft is only too keenly aware of the environmental impact caused by users having to buy newer, faster, more power-hungry machines just to handle the increasing computing requirements of each new release of Windows (to say nothing of the impact of all of the old, discarded equipment being introduced into landfills around the planet). So as part of a company-wide initiative to be more "green", the decision was made to remove the Windows GUI and instead go with a command-line only interface in the next release of Windows (codenamed WinDOS, btw). Here's a snapshot of Internet Explorer 8 in command-line mode:

This is a very exciting time for us here at Microsoft! Bill Gates was telling the team just the other day how happy he was that Microsoft was "returning to his original vision of MS-DOS".

Of course, I haven't completely abandoned my Unix roots. In fact, my primary area of responsibility in the WinDOS project is re-implementing some of the more useful features of the Unix command shell, pursuant to Microsoft's well-documented "embrace and extend" policy. Most recently, I've been working on an upgraded version of the popular "rear" command. Never heard of "rear"? Just type "man rear" into any Unix/Linux command shell you happen to have handy.

Working with the brilliant minds at Microsoft, helping to create a convergence between Windows and Unix, and saving the planet at the same time? Who wouldn't love this job? Wish me luck, folks!

Ed Responds:
Wow! Hal... this is huge. I remember your stint at Google a couple years back. You seem to have a thing for the siren song of large companies bent on world domination. It must somehow fulfill an obscure longing you have. Just out of curiosity, were you bottle fed as an infant?

Anyway, given that Microsoft hired both Crispin Cowan and Bill Arbaugh last year, I guess this makes it a trifecta for them. Go Microsoft!

So, my friend, here's to you and Microsoft. I wish you the best in your new digs, and I am very much looking forward to seeing your influence permeate the future evolution of Windows!

Paul Responds:

Congrats to Hal and Microsoft! Finally they have seen the light and hired the best when it comes to 1980's style user interfaces (which are, btw, the interfaces of the future). This is a huge win for the community, I can't wait to install the new version of WinDOS on my old 486 laptop!