“In my opinion, MS is a lot better at making money than it is at making good operating systems.”
Linus Torvalds

Microsoft and LinuxIt would seem like since the beginning of the IT era, Microsoft and Linux have been polar opposites. The biggest heavyweight company in terms of IT solutions, Microsoft has traditionally been seen as a proprietary solutions company, a large looming presence on the technology industry horizon.

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Linux, on the other hand, was the rebel child- developed by genius nerds around the world. Who else would vote for an open kernel, to allow users to change their software application as they please? That would never make business sense. With Open Source being the prerogative of individualistic developers, Linux never thought it would ever have the numbers to become a major contender and challenge the supremacy of proprietary software.

However, it took just one decade for that to happen. Over these last few years, Linux has become a mainstream force and is now seeing rapid adoption by the biggest technology providers globally.

The last straw has finally broken the camel’s back- Microsoft has adopted Linux. It is the ultimate breakdown of proprietary walls. The driver of this change has been the fact that Linux is now the power behind the largest number of mobile operating systems- android.

Now, there is a new feature called Windows Subsystem for Linux, which allows Linux applications to run in Windows. WSL essentially translates commands meant for the Linux kernel into commands for the Windows kernel. Now Microsoft will build the Linux kernel into WSL. This new version of the software is set for a preview release in June. In the new WSL, the Linux kernel will run as a “virtual machine“. This is a common way of running an operating system within an operating system. Though it sounds like a strange idea, programmers, especially web developers, find it completely logical.  Linux is the most common operating system for running web servers, but Windows is still the corporate head honcho. When it becomes easy to run Linux code in Windows, the biggest benefit will come to developers who need to use a Windows machine to write code that runs on Linux servers.

When Linus Torvalds, the principal creator of Linux said,” I do not try to be a threat to Microsoft, mainly because I do not really see MS as competition. Especially not Windows-the goals of Linux and Windows are simply so different,” he did not probably foresee those goals coming together now, and in a healthy way.