My dear friends,
barely a day passes without my thinking that I cannot help but enthuse at what this community has done and enabled others to do so far, in many respects (from alternative setup ways to pre(ram)loading, from preloading to booting, from booting to ordinary windows management and so on and so forth). I consider this way of thinking and acting windows what has now become a bit of a long-standing revolution (pls allow me the use of this oximoron). I thought of OtherWindows as the 2 Italian examples on the topic title that remind us of something alternative to the already-established and, alas, generally-accepted ways of conceiving of normal setup, management and use of technology. Now in 2020, doing everything ppl do with ordinary windows setup (at least 20gigs the setup routine says) with just 2 or 3 gigs instead is one hell of an undertaking and a wonderful achievement!!! Let us break it down into single features:
1) vhd as a container of the core of windows, the strictly necessary material for enabling the OS to reach the desktop interface. The use of wimboot, winntsetup and probably other means (including keyboard commands from the prompt) has changed our ways of "installing" windows, and did so for the better (lesser time-consuming practice, among other things).
2) G4D (and a few other loaders, for that matter) in alternative to bootmgr; even though the booting is 2-sec slower than with bootmgr, it has paved the way for more useful alternatives, one of which is ramloading --> no fear for viruses, less disk wear and tear, among other things.
3) point 1 has entailed a clear divide between the "core" of the os and the rest of what one has on their pc - the contents of folders such as desktop, documents, pictures, videos and/or whatever does not strictly concern the road from switching on to the desktop do not need to sit together with the core <-- if one tries out several windows builds, which is pretty much the case with win10, one should not need to relocate the contents of those folders all the time, as they exist anyway, or should I say independently of which build is operating - this overall concept was somewhat taken from linux, AFAICS. It would be a lot more convenient if one could extend the relocation button on the right-click mask to many other folders as well, though.
4) still depending on point 1, if anything goes wrong with the vhd (which is obviously small and can be backed up so easily), there is no need to reinstall the system; it is enough to resort to its copy and everything will be back to normal.
5) all of the above has been greatly helped by wimboot, winntsetup, dism_tool, etc. which, each in its own way, have provided alternative and better forms of storage, separation of the strictly necessary (from switching on to reaching the desktop interface) from the rest of the OS (which can be called upon on demand), 2-way OS restoration (from vhd to wim and from wim to vhd).
6) an alternative and better relation between windows and exe files, which has been fostered by a major shift from software integration to software portability - portable apps execute and close practically without interfering with the system registry, thus enabling the os to stay clean and function exactly in the same way as when it was first installed - a feature which has long been true of the mac only, AFAIK.
7) somewhat related to point 3, the use of junctions to physically move elsewhere whatever file or folder that the system insists on wanting (at least logically) on c:\, thus reducing used space on the vhd and dogmatic behavior by the OS.
Well, I cannot think of any other advantage, but I am sure other people can add a few. They are more than welcome.