“Microsoft loves Linux,” company executives said on several occasions, and now they’re trying to actually prove it with releases and updates that bring the software giant closer to the open-source world.
The most recent attempt in this regard concerns PowerShell, Microsoft’s super powerful task-based command-line shell and scripting language that’s available on Windows. The company has announced that it is open-sourcing PowerShell and making it available on Linux and Mac OS X, which means that the same set of tools will eventually become available cross-platform.
The company claims that it no longer wants Windows and Linux teams “to work separately, but to work together more easily,” and this is one of the main reasons it’s open-sourcing PowerShell.
“We started by open sourcing small portions of PowerShell and talking to a number of our partners who were experienced with open source to understand what it took to succeed,” the company says, adding that “we fit in well with the architecture because most of the original PowerShell team had deep Unix backgrounds.”
On Linux, PowerShell will initially be available on Ubuntu, Centos, and Red Hat, and Alpha builds are already available for download on GitHub .
Microsoft’s increasing love for Linux
There was a moment when Microsoft considered Linux “a cancer,” but those times are long gone, with the company now acknowledging the growth that the open-source world is experiencing these days and having no other choice than to increase its investments in this area.
Microsoft has started working on several projects that it hopes will bring Linux users closer, including a new Skype version that it’s working on based on feedback sent from the community. The company is thus trying to adopt an approach similar to the one it used for Windows 10, where many of the features that are part of the final product were developed and improved based on user feedback.
The Linux world, however, is growing bigger, and Microsoft itself sees the opportunity to capitalize on this growth. One in three VMs on Azure are Linux, the company has revealed, and 60 percent of the third-party IaaS offers in the Azure Marketplace include open-source software.