back to article Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'

"Microsoft loves Linux" is generally not something one expects to hear, but that was one of the messages that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivered at a San Francisco media event touting Redmond's cloud offerings on Monday. According to Nadella, 20 per cent of Microsoft's Azure cloud is already Linux and the software giant …

  1. William Donelson

    Microsoft's new business plan:

    "Let's say everything we can think of, and see what people like"

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Microsoft's new business plan:

      It's their old business plan: leverage their dominant position from one generation of technology to ensure dominance of the next. In this case use a small chunk of that nice cash pile on infrastructure running bought in and cloned technologies, and flog the assembled stack for as much as they can get away with.

      I don't think MS would give two hoots about Windows if they thought they could extract as much money with Linux, and without that pesky matter of development. This route is even more attractive: they even get to back both horses at minimal cost, and without needing to actually develop something that kind-of works.

    2. Fungus Bob

      Re: "Let's say everything we can think of, and see what people like"

      Bad idea, people may like hearing "Buy our stuff and I'll eat a bug!"

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Memo from bill.g to nadella.s

    Remember; Women=Good, Linux=bad, you seem to have got things confused

  3. Big-nosed Pengie


  4. Chairo

    Microsoft embracing Linux?

    quick - let's run for the hills!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft embracing Linux?

      Not quite. They are embracing it in a few small and well defined areas

      1. Supported Azure load. 20% when you think of it is not that much for a "universal cloud" offering.

      2. Mobile platform - they get easy money off anyone who runs Android so while they pretend to be doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things with Surface and their Nokia acquisition the real mobile money printer in MSFT is the Android patent racket.

      3. Probably - as a Network OS platform in Azure. Looking at the current technical personnel roster in Azure I find it difficult to believe that all of these people who have been working with "Linux as a NOS" in previous jobs have been hired to beat some sense into Windows. If they were, they would have been hired into the Windows server division instead. So there is likely to be infrastructural use which is not announced and which has started in Balmer days when Nadella ran that BU.

      Linux on the desktop and anywhere near the turf of the core Microsofties from the desktop BUs - forget it. You will definitely be running for the hills if that will happen.

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: Microsoft embracing Linux?

        Considering this is Microsoft, 20% is a shit load. That's a Linux server for every four with Windows.

        1. Joe Montana

          Re: Microsoft embracing Linux?

          But what are the percentages for amazon and google? I would imagine most people intending to deploy linux based servers would specifically avoid azure, so it should have a much lower percentage than other providers.

    2. Fatman

      Re: Microsoft embracing Linux?

      Be very careful when you 'embrace' Microsoft, as, based upon past history, you are quite likely to get a knife in the back.


  5. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    If you love something

    Set it free.

    If it doesn't come back

    hunt it down and kill it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do they care if you run linux?

    What do they care what server OS you run, they get to clip the ticket every month anyway. Full marks.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What do they care if you run linux?

      Will they be suing any of their customers that use Linux for patent infringement?

      How many hundreds of undisclosed patents was it that Linux infringed?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: What do they care if you run linux?

      I would not be so sure.

      While there is no substantial difference in terms of clipping the ticket on Linux vs Windows on Azure for the base OS, with Linux they do not get to clip the ticket on infrastructure apps.

      Oh well, that is a different BU so the usual depiction of the MSFT org chart comes to mind

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What do they care if you run linux?

        They will simply charge you a per-seat not-using-SQL-server licence fee, the same way that Dell charge you more for buying a laptop without Windows

    3. normal1

      Re: What do they care if you run linux?

      True, Microsoft was paid a Windows 8 license fee for my laptop...

      It never even booted Windows; linux from day 1.

  7. MrRtd

    Embrace, extend and extinguish

    1. frank ly

      My first thought. The time to worry is when they announce Microsoft Linux with updates coming from Redmond every Tuesday.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft Linux

        Has not worked very well for Oracle

      2. southpacificpom

        Microsoft Linux

        I can see it happening.

        Current situation, RedHat is trying to dominate the Linux ecosystem via systemd, it eventually succeeds and most distros are no better than Redhat flavors. Suddenly Redhat announces that MS will be buying them...

    2. DanDanDan

      Embrace, extend and extinguish

      I was thinking more "You will be assimilated"

    3. Wade Burchette

      "Buy him out, boys!" -- Bill Gates to Homer Simpson

  8. king of foo


    Why do people rent air again?

    Me, I'd buy an air machine, figure out how it works and maybe hire some staff to do the same and maintain it. Those staff could do a few other things as well now and again...

    Nah, listen to the execs, just spend money. Nobody ever got fired for buying something. Well, unless you count prostitutes.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: confused

      It's down to accounting,

      Cloud services are expenses, and thus can be directly offset agains this year's earnings.

      Buying servers is capital expenditure which can only be offset as depreciation, and that takes several years.

      In the meantime, you have staffing costs (and if your workload only needs half the time of an expert admin, you'll find you've either got to hire the full time of that expert, or make do with an inexpert admin), maintenance and repairs.

      Servers are now a vital infrastructure for pretty much any kind of business, whether it be in the technology field or not. Companies no longer build their own offices*, so why build their own IT infrastructure?

      None of this applies to businesses whose business is technology, but even then, cloud-hosting is a low-risk way to protoype or trial new products and services - if the idea isn't a goer, you're not left with a pile of servers you don't have a use for.

      (* Yes, yes, Apple, donut, folly, overrun, moneypit)

    2. John G Imrie

      Well, unless you count prostitutes.

      Prostitutes, like Beer, are never bought, merely rented.

      1. Alistair

        Re: Well, unless you count prostitutes.

        Prostitutes, like Beer, are never bought, merely rented.

        Look, we can put this app in the cloud, no capex, we're just renting.....

        oh wait.


        Cloud services = beer = prostitutes?

        or is it just that I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Well, unless you count prostitutes.

        Or the more traditional: "If it flies, floats or fscks - lease it"

  9. Phoenix50

    So what?

    Hate Microsoft for many many things, but don't hate them for trying to survive.

    Only a fool would imagine that we are still living in a "Windows world" - they know this and so does everybody else.

    Satya is doing what any good CEO does when his core business is under threat - diversify.

    Why is that so hard for everyone to understand?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what?

      Err, this is the reg comment section on an article that mentions both Linux *and* Microsoft.

      This is no place for rational thought.

    2. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: So what?

      Hate Microsoft for many many things, but don't hate them for trying to survive.

      Same here.

      They've lost control of end-points, spectacularly. They're now going for the back-end and they know they'll never be taken seriously in this sector by waving the Windows flag.

  10. Mark #255


    Just where is Admiral Ackbar when you need him?

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Hmmmm

      >Just where is Admiral Ackbar when you need him?

      Nadella is a an exec, so this is a PR thing. Those not playing with linux won't play with it just because Nadella says he likes it. Those who would play with linux probably have Windows as well anyway. It therefore makes perfect sense to pretend that Windows can integrate into a *nix environment (where it isn't already) just fine.

      They're still hoping to get more windows in to replace linux.

      1. Getriebe

        Re: Hmmmm

        "They're still hoping to get more windows in to replace linux."

        That is not what I hear from my MSFT contacts

  11. Cookieninja

    We shouldn't be surprised, should we ?

    I think the strange thing was that they ever had any dislike for Linux, not that they should like it.

    Microsoft's job No.1 is "Let's make money", and Linux is providing them with revenue via patents and the customers they have running Linux in the cloud.

    The real surprise is that they've not embraced it at least as much as they've embraced OS X.

    I think mistake number one that any business can make is to try and tell their customers what to run. Everything the customer wants should, within reason, be available ... for a price.

    Customers should be won over by listening to their needs and seducing them with promises of what is possible, if only they used your software and/or hardware.

    1. auburnman

      Re: We shouldn't be surprised, should we ?

      "Linux is providing them with revenue via patents"

      I think that's a VERY shaky house of cards that could fall apart at any time. Sooner or later someone will standup to the Microsoft shakedown, and MS will either have to back off or declare once and for all in court the patents allegedly infringed by Linux. Neither option would bode well for strong-arming further licencing agreements.

  12. Fenton

    Will MS pull an Apple

    Take unix like distribution (lets call is Linux rather than openBSD), whack there old UI onto it can call it and animal name

    1. excollier

      Re: Will MS pull an Apple

      Tapeworm might be fitting...

  13. launcap Silver badge

    Microsoft loves linux

    .. and hugs it, and squeezes it,

    And calls it George


    1. Roo

      Re: Microsoft loves linux

      One of my favorite cartoon moments, thanks for the memory launcap. :)

      That said, I think Nadella reminds me more of Skeletor.

  14. Shane Sturrock

    Don't trust them

    I got thrown out of Redmond for mentioning Linux a few years back with the person I was meeting declaring "we don't work with Linux companies, I'll get you a cab." This after I sat through his presentation on his XP laptop which kept blue screening every time he plugged it into the big screen but when I did the same with my Linux laptop (KDE themed to look like Windows 2000) it was all fine so he didn't realise I was running Linux until I said so. Boom, shown the door.

    The fact is, MS has had to learn to put up with Linux, especially in clusters and cloud as they're nowhere near the behemoth they were on the desktop but you can guarantee that this change of heart will be very short lived if people trust them. Remember, embrace, extend, extinguish? Just where are we with this right now?

  15. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Fine by me.

    I try to avoid Microsoft products whenever possible. That said, this is fine by me; I welcome any efforts on Microsoft's part to quit having Windows et. al be "an island unto itself". Having their cloud service support, well, non-Windows... is a good start.

  16. boboM

    Why on earth...

    ... would you want a MS shitty OS underneath your linux instances?

    Microsoft is like Ebola, you must avoid it completely to kill the infection. Leave a little bit and it will grow back into something nasty.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Microsoft is like Ebola, you must avoid it completely to kill the infection.

      No fucking shit!!!!

      Get out the bleach!

  17. Tchou

    Like it or not...

    ... Microsoft and some other big players are majors contributors to Linux, for a variety of reasons.

    Part of the plan is make you believe you still have a choice.

  18. Lostintranslation

    Memo from Ballmer.s to Nadella.s

    Can't we just buy this Linux thing outright? How much do they want for it?

  19. excollier

    Run for the hills!

    Please tell me I am having a nightmare here......I have spent the last couple of years eradicating all traces of Windows from my computers, and now this......please, God, no, no.......

  20. andro


    Im sure its no mistake that they support centos and oracle, but not redhat. So they'll take the money for hosting, take the customers, maybe give some $ to redhats biggest enemy (oracle) but make sure none goes back to RH. They are within their rights to do so, but i dont believe for a second they do want to work with RH.

  21. windowssucks

    Yeah sure. They love Linux just like USA once loved people of Vietnam.

  22. windowssucks

    Market share of new devices during Q3 2014:

    -smartphone : 83% for Linux

    -tablet : 73% for Linux


    total mobiles: 80% for Linux

    New devices (internet connection): 80% mobiles, 20% portables and destops.

    With ChromeBook having about 3-4% marketshare of portables and millions of pc installed with Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Suse etc...Linux seems to have now some 65-66% market share of new devices. Linux is over twice bigger than Mac/iOS and Windows together. One study estimated that less than 55% of new desktops and portables are preinstalled with Windows.

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