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Rob Pike on why Systems Software Research Is Irrelevant. The general theme is that true experimentation and novelty has died out in OS design, and why. Blaming Microsoft is a scapegoat; there are other factors discussed in detail*.

* As much detail as slides can provide.

What could we do differently? Who knows? Here's an overview of Plan 9, Pike's OS from the 80s. I am sorry to write I know nothing about it, but I will read this now, but I understand it is "different" in some radical ways.