Last week, Microsoft made an amazing announcement: they are bringing SQL Server to Linux. Quoting Scott Guthrie - Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft:
Today I’m excited to announce our plans to bring SQL Server to Linux as well. This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud. We are bringing the core relational database capabilities to preview today, and are targeting availability in mid-2017.I find this interesting because of Microsoft's history. There was a time not so very long ago that Microsoft feared open source software. Former CEO Steve Ballmer once referred to open source as a "cancer" that would taint everything it touched.
Over time, Microsoft advanced their strategy to instill "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt" when talking about open source software. The goal here was to raise unanswered questions that cause C-level executives to fear open source software. For example, "Look at the copyleft. If you use open source software in your enterprise, you'll need to give away your proprietary source code to anyone who asks." (No, you don't.) This led to Ballmer's famous "cancer" statement.
But under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft seems to have genuinely changed its tune. And now, we find Microsoft plans to release a version of SQL Server for Linux. I'm excited by this news. I don't have any Linux systems at my new organization (I work in local government, and the culture of government seems to be very pro-Windows) but I want to shift our IT organizational culture to eventually embrace other options, including Linux. SQL Server for Linux opens up new possibilities for us. And for that, I welcome this news.
image: Wikimedia (public domain)