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Microsoft’s Linux obsession bringing Bash Scripting to Windows 10

Image courtesy of TechCrunch
Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Microsoft has, over the last few months made some rather radical decisions regarding its relationship with Linux, that, 5 years ago could have been considered blasphemous.  Take the announcement in September of 2015 to allow developers to use standard and premium Linux images on Azure.  Earlier in April 2015, we were hearing official news that Microsoft Visual Studio would be available on Linux, and interestingly enough, the famous GDB Debugger would be available within Visual Studio to debug Linux Applications.

And it didn’t end there, on the 8th of this month, Microsoft announced that it would be joining the Eclipse Foundation and would be bringing a series of tools to the community like Visual Studio Team Services, the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, the Java SDK for Azure, etc.  And of course, the cynical among us, are probably weighing in with “Microsoft wants to monopolize the market” theories, but if you had a business to run, wouldn’t you adapt to market conditions and ensure you remained relevant?

Anyway, after all the hype surrounding the other three announcements, Microsoft has finally announced that Bash scripting will be available in Windows 10 and it won’t run off an emulator or a virtual machine, but off binaries borrowed from Ubuntu and integrated straight into Windows 10.  Personally, this is the best news, because, I am not a developer like most of you, Bash, Ruby, and Python scripting are my realm, but only to help me automate tasks whose sequence I have probably already forgotten.  And yes, Windows has, PowerShell, but like many others, I honestly don’t have the brain cells to dedicate to learning a new platform all over again.

So, the question really is “Microsoft, why now?”  And I don’t think it is about a “if you cannot beat them, join them” type of reaction to the recent successes of Linux in the Enterprise and Mobile space, but Microsoft redefining their role.  They are a software company that create productivity tools.  Yes, Windows is great, but we don’t go to work to stare at the awesome features and functionality of Windows 7 or Windows 10, we open that spreadsheet from the last sales meeting, the document containing the next article meant for the TTZM editor, OR even that presentation that lays to rest all the misconceptions around Docker Containers.  Making each of these processes as efficient and as intuitive as possible is what the new Microsoft is all about.  And so, it doesn’t matter whether those tools run on Ubuntu, on CentOS or even SuSE, it all comes down to “Microsoft tools are available across platforms” as an option for anyone that would love to use them but cannot get passed the “do I want Windows?” or “Office365, really?” conundrums.

In terms of timeframe, we hope to see Bash support in the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary update, which should be available in the next few weeks.  And in terms of getting it up and running, you will need to enable Developer Mode in Windows 10. #ICTZM