Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Microsoft embraces Linux -- way too late

Paul Venezia | April 5, 2016
As usual, Microsoft is late to the party. But this isn't like all the other times that came before.

Developers can’t easily stand up a dev environment for a Linux-based app on their Windows laptop. They need somewhere to run that environment, which becomes either a remote server or a VM running on their Windows installation. Pretty quickly, the speed bumps incurred by such a setup are visible, so the developer heads to Linux on the laptop or (more commonly) picks up a Mac, since the BSD underpinnings of OS X make it much simpler to get where they need to be, natively.

This is why you look around development houses, conferences, and other areas where developers tend to congregate and you see a sea of Apple logos. Fundamentally, working on *nix systems from any point of view is easier when you’re using a *nix box yourself. With the world moving to a cloud powered mostly by Linux, that trend is undeniable.

This isn’t Microsoft embracing Linux, even as part of its traditional “embrace, extend, exterminate” scheme. This is Microsoft belatedly taking a step toward Linux acceptance. Microsoft will face big problems down the road due to this procrastination, but at least it has begun the process. Before, this would have been an impossibility because the powers that be refused to see what was apparent to everyone else: Linux was winning the cloud server space, and for better or worse, that’s where the world is headed.

Microsoft has a long and storied history of getting to the party late, all the way from the apocryphal “640K ought to be enough for anybody” statement to completely ignoring the Internet to realizing the virtualization thing might be a big deal. Microsoft is not really an innovator. Once it steps into a space, however, it brings its Goliath weight and pour resources into it until there's a viable, competitive product or service.

In this case, Microsoft is very, very late to the game and isn't offering a competing product -- it's trying to accommodate the competition in an effort to save itself. We haven't seen that before, and it will be interesting to note how it all plays out.

In the meantime, I’m pretty sure there won’t be a mad rush of devs and admins dying to run a highly limited Ubuntu user space on Windows 10. They'll stick with their Macs and Mint boxes.


Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.