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1. Microsoft promises to defend—not attack—Linux with its 60,000 patents. Oct 11, 2018, 09:50 Burrito of Peace
 
I used to be pretty skeptical of Microsoft's approach to Linux but I have a theory:

Within the remainder of my lifetime, Microsoft is going to abandon the NT kernel and migrate over to the Linux or BSD kernel. I know, I know, it sounds crazy but with WSL, Linux on Azure, their surprisingly active commits to a number of Linux projects, and their move towards making both server and desktop platforms services instead of products, it seems a natural fit. Windows 10 would be called a rolling release distribution if it were a Linux distribution as would be Server 2019, for example.

They appear, at least for the moment, to not be antagonistic to software like DVK which translates DirectX (or, more specifically, what we used to call Direct3D and DirectDraw calls) to Vulkan and they're contributing members to Vulkan directly.

If you're transitioning toward a services oriented company, that makes a lot of sense. You don't have to worry about the underlying OS architecture, you just focus on APIs and how you deploy your services. By using the same APIs, you can integrate your services in to an ecosystem. In a lot of ways, they're mimicking what Red Hat did. You can get Windows 10 for free, you can even get Windows Server for free, but, with Server in particular, what you don't get is access to the subscription channels which provide stability and security patches. Red Hat does the same thing. You can get Red Hat for free by jumping through some hoops, but you don't get access to their subscription only repositories.

With AMD willing to make custom silicon for them, and with the fact that AMD is very active in the open source community, it wouldn't even be that much of risk to make the Xbox based around a custom Linux kernel, either. AMD has already done all the low level work for both Linux and BSD (see: Playstation).

Would any of it be open source? Maybe some parts of it. They still have a vested interest in cultivating an ecosystem and getting paid customers in to the ecosystem.

I think it's interesting, too, that Microsoft and Canonical seem to be working pretty closely together. There's no reason to invest that much effort in to something just to create WSL. You even see Microsoft putting a lot of their once proprietary coding language out in to open source with Visual Studio Code, .NET Core, and others.

Remember, too, that Microsoft has already developed their own BSD based OS.

So, given their moves in the last five years, I think Microsoft will go open source within my lifetime and leverage existing open source technologies so they can focus more on the services oriented business unit and less on spending billions on maintaining an OS architecture that they've realized, at least internally, is not a sustainable long term solution. Especially in light of the fact that others are already doing it better.
 
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