I've been following (and defending) Microsoft's efforts to get closer to open source for a long time. Efforts that began late in Steve Ballmer's presidency when the firm abandoned Silverlight (its attempt to compete with Adobe Flash) and warmly embraced HTML 5. The arrival of Satya Nadella, the first of its presidents who did not come from a sector where Microsoft was a leader, accentuated the trend.
Of course we are talking about companies. Microsoft's change was not for love but for business. Red Hat (Property of IBM (*)) or Canonical will gladly abandon Linux and open source if it is in the best interest of their shareholders. But, As long as the interests of Microsoft shareholders coincide with ours as open source users, let's take advantage of it instead of inventing conspiracy theories about evil plans to destroy Linux.
We must understand that this Microsoft's business is cloud services. It is not interested in users of desktop operating systems; neither those of Linux nor those of Windows. Users of Windows 10 Insider versions are seeing more and more parts of the operating system integrating with the cloud.
From the beginning they made it clear that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), the foundation of its technologies for running Linux applications on Windows, is geared toward programmers. Specifically for those who create applications in Linux containers that run on Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform.
Even in the much talked about announcement that Linux applications can be run with a graphical interface, they point out that what they are looking for isgive programmers the ability to use their favorite integrated development environment.
Taking into account that except for Builder, the GNOME IDE, they all have a Windows version, I can't quite understand it.
However, the next versions of Windows are on the way to having the best of both operating systems.
Windows will be the best Linux distribution. 2020 announcements
Windows Subsystem for Linux andIt's an environment where users can run their Linux applications from a Windows PC. In this way, a developer working on creating applications to be deployed in the cloud within Linux containers can develop and test these workloads locally on their Windows PC using the same native Linux tools that they are used to. .
Microsoft announced a series of improvements associated with this technology
- Graphic acceleration: Some time ago Microsoft developed a technology that allows you to use the host computer's graphics card for graphics acceleration in virtual environments. Now a driver has been created for the Linux kernel that will allow WSL to connect with that technology. Linux applications will have exactly the same GPU access privileges as Windows applications.
- WSL2: The new version takes advantage of new capabilities of the Windows hypervisor platform by running the distributions and tools in containers, on a real image of the Linux kernel. The virtual machine starts cold in less than 2 seconds. This new version has better compatibility and is much faster.
- New version of Docker Desktop: Docker Inc. decided to base Docker Desktop for Windows on WSL 2. Thanks to this the containers will start faster and consume less resources.
- One-command installation: To enable WSL you need to follow several steps after searching the Internet. Microsoft promises that it can be done with a single command.
- WSL 2 will be installed by default: Since version 2 was still in development, it made sense that its installation was optional. In the next few months this will change and it will be installed by default.
- Applications with graphical interface: It is perhaps the most widely advertised. At the conference, Eye of Gnome (document viewer) gedit (text editor) and mpv (multimedia player) could be seen running on Wayland running within WSL, which communicated with a remote desktop client on the host of Windows.
I don't think this is competition for traditional Linux distributions. No user of GNOME, Budgie, XFCE or KDE is going to leave them for Windows. Maybe Virtual Machine Application Developers Should Be Concerned. However, WSL is going to do a great deal to increase the supply of applications for Linux. After all they will also be able to run on Windows.
(*) To avoid confusion, I clarify that my statement that the company would abandon open source in the event of a change in market conditions is a personal opinion based on the fact that we are talking about a company whose first loyalty is towards its shareholders. I have no idea of Red Hat's current or future plans.
And, it would seem perfect if they did. We are talking about the red hat, not the Red Cross.