When I was your age, we used to do fundamental OS research.
Oh come one! This guy's arguments don't make any sense whatsoever. It is laughable to say that there is no reaseach going on because people have standardized on unix/linux. I am amazed that this guy has given MS a clean bill of health in this regard. At the risk seeming to protest too much let me draw your attention, gentle reader, to the following points:
1) Research dollars for fundamental OS research has dried up because none of the funding bodies see any point to throwing money at a project which is doomed to commercial failure from day one. This is because MS owns the OS space, not because unix is a niche player.
2) The gap in pay between industry/academia is so large that all but a handful of top researchers have left the universities. In terms of percentages AND sheer numbers, the CS talent in the universities and other research institutions is a ghost of its former self.
3) In the CS research world, despite the authror's claims to the contrary, there have been several experimental OSs that were developed to demonstrate specific OS concepts. These OSs were merely proof of concept things that illustrated how one particular problem could be solved with a new design. The end goals of such efforts are research journal publications. Such experimental OSs are never developed to any state of utility except to the project guide and his graduate students. The author seems resentful that the world has not beaten a path to the door of these OS authors. Well, a step towards solving the problem would be for these experimental OSs to actually do something useful, like supporting these "externally imposed standards" that the author is so contemptuous about.
4) Necessity is the mother of invention. When hardware was so slow, it was important for the software and OS to be as slim and compact as possible. With machines so powerful these days, that is no longer the case. Who cares if the OS uses up 75% of system resources? Certainly not the average user. For that matter, even the above-average user, like graduate students running number-crunching simulations don't really care. The only guys who seem to care about the OS efficiencies are the high-end nuclear/weather/fluid mechanics boys (they have supercomputers anyway) and the gamers. But the gamers are doomed to be on MS windows anyway. And they don't seem to have any fundamental objection to that.