Microsoft surprises by joining Linux, 15 years after calling it a ‘cancer’

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November 17, 2016 12:48 PM

Once archenemies, Microsoft has blown everyone away by joining Linux; and in a surprising move joins Google as well.

microsoft linux, microsoft, linux, open source, github, microsoft news, linux news, microsoft joins linux, microsoft google, google .net, google news, tech news, satya nadella, steve ballmer, windows, ubuntuMicrosoft is no longer a Steve Ballmer company. It has Satya Nadella written all over it now.

Once archenemies, Microsoft has blown everyone away by joining Linux; and in a surprising move joins Google as well. Microsoft has Satya Nadella written all over it now. It no longer is a Steve Ballmer company. At the Microsoft Connect conference for software developers in New York, the company’s executive vice president Scott Guthrie along with Linux Foundation president Jim Zemlin, announced that Microsoft is joining Linux. This news might have been unthinkable a decade back, as both the companies had completely different set of beliefs. As closed was Microsoft with its Windows OS, its nemesis changed the game with an open-source OS.

The tech giant also announced that Google will join a committee of the independent .NET Foundation too. Google is Microsoft’s rival in applications and cloud services. The .NET Foundation promotes the usage of the company’s .NET software development tech. The Foundation had other member companies like Samsung and RedHat. Google has earlier brought tools in order to help .NET developers to work using Google Cloud Platform. The late decision might be a result of Microsoft’s previous CEO Steve Ballmer viewing open source software like Linux an existential threat. Ballmer, once in the year 2001, called Linux as a ‘cancer’. He said, “Linux is cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

These moves by Microsoft, clearly indicate the big change from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella. Since then Microsoft has invested in a lot of non-Microsoft technologies, even joining the Eclipse Foundation, which is an important open-source institution. Interesting, after Microsoft softened its stance on open-source, this year even Ballmer said that now he loves Linux and even congratulated the current CEO. It is an undeniable fact that developers love to work on Linux platform, and though late, Microsoft is finally realising the need to join it, and want them to work on Microsoft Azure Cloud. Linux is an open source software which essentially means free or almost free, while Windows a proprietary software package costs money.

The company has indeed taken up Satya Nadella’s vision, making Visual Studio Code, PowerShell, and Microsoft Edge’s JavaScript engine as open-source recently. It has also tied-up with Canonical to get Ubuntu in Windows 10, also buying Xamarin to help in mobile app development. Xamarin’s SDKs and developer tools were also open-sourced. Microsoft also brought SQL Server to Linux.

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