Microsoft have announced that Ubuntu, and potentially Linux distros Fedora, and OpenSUSE, are coming to the Windows store.
Yep, you read that right. Linux in the Windows store.
We are not talking about a full blown Linux desktop here. There’s no Linux kernel, no X11, no Gnome. However, what we are talking about is a full blown development environment running inside and alongside Windows without the need for virtualisation.
I’ve been maintaining a Ubuntu Virtual on my Windows laptop for development for years, updating and upgrading as I go. It’s a close to, but no completely, seamless solution and at certain times in undoubtedly slows me down – the point that I’ve started doing my development entirely in the cloud using Chrome Apps like CodeAnywhere for a lot of work.
This is no small feat of engineering however and I’m experiencing the uncommon phenomenon of wanting to say “Bravo, Microsoft”.
By acknowledging that a lot of us spend our time in Windows developing for Linux, Microsoft are going to win themselves some fans. Nobody, but nobody, is as important to the viability of an operating system as developers. If developers leave, apps leave, and operating systems die.
As Steve Balmer once famously said… “Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers!”