Microsoft and Open Source together doesn’t surprise me anymore. When Microsoft first announced that it is going to open source .NET, I was shocked. But then it open sourced Visual Studio Code, it’s Edge browser’s Chakra Core and SQL Server among several such announcements.
The last time I paid attention to Microsoft’s love for Open Source (and Linux) was when it announced Bash on Windows. That was big. Linux’s Bash Shell in Windows, thanks to Ubuntu.
Today, Microsoft did something similar. This time, it has brought its own command line platform PowerShell on Linux. PowerShell is now open source and is available on Linux and Mac OS, in alpha builds.
What is PowerShell?
For those who are not familiar with PowerShell, it “is a task automation and configuration management framework from Microsoft, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language built on the .NET Framework.”
Basically, it’s a command line framework that allows administrative tasks on local and remote Windows systems, among other things. Tightly coupled with .NET, PowerShell has been a quite a hit in Windows domain.
It’s all for the good cause of … Windows customers
Microsoft’s previous CEO Steve Ballmer had called Linux cancer. Much water has flown under the bridge since then. Ballmer is not CEO of Microsoft anymore. The new CEO, Satya Nadella said that Microsoft loves Linux. Satya is implementing new policies and open source and Linux support are one of them. But what made Satya take the road to open source?
The real answer is Microsoft loves Microsoft. It wants to be the leader of the cloud world and has put a lot of weight behinds its Azure service. Support of Linux is a part of the plan to make Azur more acceptable to its users by providing the various options. Open Sourcing Power Shell is no different.
As TechCrunch reported, “Nadella basically told the company to talk to customers, find out what they need to succeed and give it to them.”
Lead Architect of Microsoft Enterprise Cloud group Jeffrey Snover commented:
“We heard that customers want to have their choice of clients, servers and clouds….We want to be our customers’ preferred partners for running their workloads and it’s in Microsoft’s and our customers’ shared interest to help them to manage everything.”
PowerShell on Linux (alpha builds)
Linux already has more powerful and versatile shells available to its disposal. I don’t think regular Linux user is going to start using PowerShell but then that’s not the aim anyway.
PowerShell on Linux is aimed at developers who must use PowerShell or .NET perhaps. Installation instructions for various Linux distributions have been added to its GitHub page. I am not going to list them here as it might change with time.
For beginners, a getting started with PowerShell repository has been added to GitHub as well. You can find more about it on its GitHub repository:
Any thoughts on Microsoft’s love for Linux and Open Source?