I do engineering, drafting, Mstn customization & vba programming, IT, and interaction with clients. My oversized desk is already too crowded and I definitely don't want a second computer on my desk. The one computer I have is running Microstation, email, our contact/project management software, and Microsoft Office constantly. It'd be hard to do that on a stand-alone operating system.
Good idea, but I don't think it'd work for everyone.
Running "Bentley OS"
and Bentley products stand-alone was only suggested as a way to optimize performance for those who do practically nothing else, not for those who frequently need to do other things, as many do. Also, the OS, though it may be somewhat stripped down should still be capable of running other applications. Most Microsoft Office products (and many other Windows programs) have open source and/or commercial counterparts for Linux operating systems that can open and edit the files created by those Windows programs. If Windows is installed on the computer, many Windows-based programs will run under Linux using open source or commercial Windows emulation. Some don't even need Windows to be installed an run in the emulator. And as I previously mentioned, Linux OSs can run inside Windows if necessary which may (I'm guessing here) give access to some Windows functionality or assets. Also, unless you are dealing with very large files (documents, spreadsheets, databases, etc.), emulation shouldn't generate quite as much of a performance hit as to do so with MicroStation in an emulator or with the "Bentley OS"
running inside Windows.
There is functionality in Windows that doesn't exist in OSX and Linux. Equally, there is functionality in OSX and Linux that doesn't exist in Windows. That makes it hard for a large product like MicroStation to be portable easily between operating systems.
I know little to nothing about programming, but just because a particular functionality isn't
in Linux or isn't
in Windows, does that actually mean it can't
be there? Couldn't a "Bentley OS"
to include whatever functionality that Bentley products might specifically need? That is one of the reasons for the suggestion - so that Bentley products don't have to depend on or wait for a commercial OS to provide needed or desired functionality, or wait for them to fix their bugs for that matter. There's been more than one version of MicroStation that has malfunctioned or been limited on one level or another because of a bug or limitation in Windows.
Companies develop products as a result of customer demand, not because a competitor has done something similar.
While true, what about the acquisition of new
customers? To be able to be free of dependence on an external OS would have to generate a wider pool of new customers - especially in smaller operations where a company just couldn't afford to replace the Macs or other non-Windows machines, let alone software on top of that. For them, Bentley products are not a viable option. OS independence or "Bentley OS"
could open up that market, small though it may be. The Linux community, though small does seem to be growing. It might be smart to jump ahead of the curve instead of waiting for someone else to be first and then have to play catch-up. And by that, I don't mean trying to support Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or any of the other flavors. Create a Bentley OS and have complete control over the environment in which the products will run - just don't make it so proprietary that only Bentley products will run in it.
This might also be a good way to reduce the overhead of ProjectWise. The "Bentley OS"
and ProjectWise could be integrated.
Here's another thought: Does anyone know of a Boot-loader/ Memory Manager that would allow two operating systems to boot up into separate memory spaces? Something like that might be able to give complete access to both Windows and something else without having to reboot to use each OS and without having to run one inside the other. Each "Desktop" could be swapped in and out of memory as needed, hopefully with the ability to utilize a clipboard and linking between the two and so on.
Just food for thought.