Microsoft has been a big proponent of open source and Linux lately. Heck, Ubuntu binaries are in Windows 10! Satya Nadella's leadership seems to be a big catalyst here. While we do not yet have top-tier software like Microsoft Office running natively on Ubuntu or RHEL (yet), the company has been putting resources behind open source projects and Linux-compatible software such as Skype.
Today, the Windows-maker cements its status as a Linux and open source champion by putting its command-line PowerShell tool and language on GitHub. This shows a strong commitment from Microsoft towards the Linux community. Is this a bad sign for Windows?
"I am extremely excited to share that PowerShell is open sourced and available on Linux. (For those of you who need a refresher, PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language built on the .NET Framework to help IT professionals control and automate the administration of the Windows, and now Linux, operating systems and the applications that run on them.) I’m going to share a bit more about our journey getting here, and will tell you how Microsoft Operations Management Suite can enhance the PowerShell experience.", says Jeffrey Snover Technical Fellow, Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Group.
Snover further says, "Microsoft wants to earn customers' preference as the platform for running all their workloads -- Linux as well as Windows. This new thinking empowered the .NET team to port .NET Core to Linux and that in turn, enabled PowerShell to port to Linux as well. PowerShell on Linux is now designed to enable customers to use the same tools, and the same people, to manage everything from anywhere. It is initially available on Ubuntu, Centos, as well as Red Hat, and also runs on Mac OS X. More platforms will be added in the future. You can download Alpha builds and check out the source code from GitHub".
With Microsoft increasingly focusing on cross-platform software, what does this mean for Windows on the desktop? Windows 10 is a great operating system and both home and business users will be enjoying it -- and future versions -- for some time. In the long term, however, platforms may be more inconsequential.
Microsoft is wise to embrace open source while taking a more agnostic view on operating systems -- it is not putting all of its eggs in a single basket. Its support of iOS and Android (also Linux) has been well received too. Making PowerShell open source and available for Linux and macOS is not a sign of Windows weakness; just a company being smart in diversifying and thinking outside of a box.
If you want to check out PowerShell on GitHub, you can do so here. If you are a Linux user, will you embrace PowerShell? Are you more welcoming of Microsoft in the Linux and open source communities nowadays? Sound off in the comments.