Why a cross-platform Microsoft is good for your business

Microsoft is preaching the mantra ‘any developer, any app, any platform.’ But it’s not just dev tools. It’s about wider technology choices for the business.

microsoft cloud open source

Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. Google is joining not just the .NET foundation but the steering committee, alongside RedHat and Samsung, which is supporting .NET code on all of its Tizen devices, from smart TVs to wearables and IoT devices, running on ARM. The preview of SQL Server on Linux is ready for IT teams to try out and it has key security and data warehouse features, not just the basics. A version of Microsoft’s premier development tool, Visual Studio, has even come to Mac OS.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Microsoft has been moving to this cross-platform, collaborative, open source world for several years. In 2008, Microsoft started contributing to Hadoop. In 2012, Scott Guthrie (now the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group), announced what was then the new Windows Azure cloud by setting up Linux VMs from a Mac. And in 2014, Microsoft made .NET open source and cross platform. PowerShell followed in 2016. And for containers, one of the key emerging technologies for microservices, Microsoft chose to take a dependency on Docker, an open source project that started on Linux — not just for Azure but for Windows Server 2016 as well.

What does all this mean to you? Mitra Azizirad, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s developer and data division, says it’s about giving developers what they want on the platform of their choice. “We really are taking a big step forward in showing developers how we're really making it easier for them to build apps at unprecedented scale. Our mantra continues to be any developer, any app, any platform and we take it seriously to meet developers where they are,” she says.

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