It was recently announced by Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise group, that – incredibly – “over half of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) are now Linux”. And, whatsmore, this is a trend that does not look like it’s going away any time soon, with Guthrie maintaining that “every month it goes up”.
When Microsoft started its turn toward open-source software a few years ago, they did so because, as they contended at the time, it was a “practical business decision”, as they needed to make Microsoft a profitable open source company. It used to be that a clear marker was drawn in the sand, with Microsoft even declaring that “Linux is a cancer“, depending on which side you were on, but obviously money talks and now open source has become the dominant development paradigm.
So what does this mean for good ol’ Windows then? Startlingly, for Windows lovers, a recent restructure at Microsoft HQ did not include a dedicated Windows division for the first time since the 1980’s – further adding fuel to the fire that Windows’ importance could be on the decline.
However, it has been argued that Windows has actually “died” before at least once; the obvious example being in 94/95 when it existed as a bolt-on application execution environment before the Windows 95 OS hit the shelf and arguably made a bit of splash……
So, can Windows rise from the ashes again with Windows 10s – which draws a line under Win32. From reports it does have it’s initial limitations, one of them being its inability to run existing Win32-based apps for security reasons, so it will have inevitable teething problems, but I don’t think it will be too long before Microsoft pull something out of the bag…. and the cat lives another of his precious lives!