The starting point is a Linux core. But Om isn't exactly a new Linux distro. It's rather a Super Android for desktop computers.
When you want to install an application on your computer, if you choose an application that can be installed both on Windows and Linux, the "how to install" section is two lines long for Windows, and two pages long for Linux. Android is user-friendly about this : you go to the play store, the market, whatever, you choose an app, you click, and that's it. This is how Om should work.
As you probably know, Android applications are downloaded as *.apk files, which are simply renamed zip files, containing everything needed to install your brand new app. Here we follow the same concept.
Om applications are downloaded as *.oapp files, which are renamed zip files containing resources and source-code expressed in LLVM assembly language, LLVM-IR. Download the file, click it and you're done. Your app is already installed, no matter what hardware is behind. It's Grab & Play.
I was eating in Chipotle, browsing Hacker News on my phone when I read some outdated article about how the NSA may or may not have backdoor access to some cryptographic function of Windows.
Considering that the NSA's interest in my computer is probably around zero, and that I don't even use windows cryptography, this backdoor probably wouldn't ever affect me. But the sentiment of it did, and it was just enough to push me over the edge.
I'm not new to Linux. In 1998 my friend Phil and I drove across town to a shabby computer store to by Slackware Linux on CD. He sideswiped a lady as we approached the parking lot, so I ran into the store to buy the CDs while he swapped insurance cards.
We ran Linux for the summer, or at least dual-booted it, but eventually practicality made way and Windows was installed again. Diablo II just wouldn't run in Linux.