Old thread update:
The apps have a much larger system footprint than if they're run natively
This still seems far away for most users, but was an interesting development:
I talked to one of the developers of PC-BSD
and found out they've developed a system to avoid overlap: The operating system dynamically integrated de-duplication into the OS. I think this is a feature
of the awesome ZFS file system that's finally making it down to the desktop level.
The example that was used was two Mozilla programs: Firefox and Thunderbird share a lot of similar files. So when one of the shared files (say an update in Mozilla), it will create a separate (new) file. Then, once Thunderbird catches up, it will go back to sharing a single file.
If this could make it down to the USB drive level and become a standard across Linux devices, that would be a phenomenal space saver and increase drive life by reducing data writes.
This grabbed me because it reminded me of the DLL Project
I attempted 2 years ago to create a shared library folder.