Microsoft strengthens its bond with Linux: participates in the annual Ubuntu Summit conference

The link between Microsoft e Linux has become increasingly narrow over the last few years. Support for the Penguin operating system, which until a few years ago seemed absolutely unthinkable, is confirmed with the participation of the Redmond company in this year’s edition of the conference Ubuntu Summit.

In view of the important event organized by CanonicalMicrosoft shared a busy agenda of events, further testimony to its commitment to supporting Linux and open source technologies.

During the 2023 edition of Ubuntu Summitscheduled in Riga (Latvia) from 3 to 5 November, Microsoft will talk about the news relating to the integration between the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Ubuntu, the usage scenarios .NET 8 applications about Canonical’s deployment and Azure integration with the service snapshots in Ubuntu.

Microsoft’s participation in Ubuntu Summit 2023 is not a surprise

The hand extended to Linux comes from afar: the success of Azure platform has its roots in the support of the main Linux distributions, which have become an essential tool for the Redmond company’s business. The credit goes to the CEO and president Satya Nadella (the third president in the history of the company after Bill Gates and John W. Thompson, when in 2014 – in the darkest period for Microsoft – Steve Ballmer was shown the door) who decided to invest heavily on the cloud as a tool to bring his society back to the glories of the past.

Admitting that it was wrong about open source, Microsoft began contributing to the main ones open source projectsbecame part of the Open Invention Networkfrom the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and the Linux Foundation. It also integrated into Windows 10, first, and then into Windows 11, the possibility of using an official version of the Linux kernel, thanks to the aforementioned WSL. Recently Microsoft also explained how to install Linux.

And to think that in the darkest years of Microsoft’s history, when Ballmer was at the helm of the company, the company’s CEO improvidently declared: “Linux is like a cancer that attaches itself, in terms of intellectual property, to everything it touches“. It was 2001, Ballmer was newly appointed, and with his statement he sparked a hornet’s nest of controversy. The former Microsoft CEO wanted to express concern that the open source model could threaten the intellectual property of Microsoft.

Ballmer underestimated the value of open source and did not understand that collaboration with the community and investments in open software would instead help to preserve Microsoft’s intellectual property and even increase the company’s turnover.

What Microsoft will talk about at the Ubuntu Summit

As we anticipated at the beginning, Canonical’s Ubuntu Summit will be an opportunity to explain how to create a Linux-based work environment directly in Windows. Who knows if Microsoft will also illustrate in detail the innovations of WSL 2.0.0 introduced in September 2023, useful for shaping virtual machines ever closer to your needs.

OCI (Open Container Initiative) is a set of open standards and technology specifications for creating and managing software containers. OCI images are essentially file packages that contain all the components needed for to execute one application in one container. During the event organized by Canonical, Microsoft will demonstrate the process containerization of applications .NET using Ubuntu. Particular attention will be paid to creating OCI images of minimal size, while maximizing the security and efficiency of applications.

The technicians of the company led by Nadella will also focus on introducing the new features of .NET 8 LTS, the version of the framework with long-term support created to strengthen the link with Linux.

The work will conclude with a round table on future of artificial intelligence: if the advantages are there for all to see, many aspects remain to be addressed such as the sharing of ethical guidelines, safety concerns and the real economic impact.


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