At the same time, Azure itself runs largely on Windows servers in Service Fabric (https://github.com/Microsoft/service-fabric), so it's hard to count. With nested hypervisors as the normal architecture nowadays, this whole tally is pretty suspect.
But we (the tech community) never seem to get bored with the "Microsoft is eating humble pie on OSS" story. Maybe that's exactly what Microsoft deserves after so many years of big-bad-wolf behavior. Unfortunately it makes their real engineering and OSS feats hard for us to see or acknowledge.
Like Service fabric. Did you know that Microsoft built and open sourced an orchestrator that can manage tens if millions of nodes with totally diverse workloads (containers, VMs, and bare metal), nested hypervisors, and even nested orchestrators in a secure multi tenant context? That beats the crap out of kubernetes on a capabilities front, but it's not an easy story to sell. Or that Windows Hyper-V has done thin-VM/M container isolation on par with kata and firecracker for years? Or that many (if not most) Azure services are open source? You can run the entire azure stack on your home server closet if you like, especially including their biggest growth areas of kubernetes and ML/cognitive services. If you want an open source alternative to AWS, azure can be a real option.
I enjoy the historical irony of this as much as the next guy, but we really have to stop letting it blind us to the awesome things MS is doing that don't fit that narrative. Microsoft is benefiting mightily by adopting open source culture, code, and practices as fast as it can. And if we can get our heads out of our own self-righteous asses enough to upvote the stories, we can profit from it too.
And Microsoft absolutely relishes it. The tech community provides priceless support for Microsoft's key marketing message, which is that Azure runs everything and you don't have to go to AWS for first class Linux hosting.
The humble pie they are eating is worth billions per bite.
Absolutely it is - I don't mean to deny that. Only that the story obscures a lot of value that we, the broader tech community, should be taking from their contributions.
That's kind of like saying, "I don't care about voting, I just want politicians to represent me."
That productivity and job satisfaction, you have it despite Microsoft. Imagine a world where MS wouldn't have spent their resources on killing Webbrowsers and Java, where you could run a jar file on any operating system with ease. Or imagine a world where exchanging office files between different programs would have been easy.
I don't buy this argument. IDEs would just advance as they're tools written buy the people who use them - there's an inherent drive to increase their usefulness and automate the mundane and repetitive. Also for what It's worth I think before MS really got their shit together in the IDE space it was Borland that was at the forefront.
Maybe MS has done the most, made the biggest investments. But splitting the ecosystem of managed languages into Java and C# hasn't made life easier for developers nor users.
Edit: I see the one you're referring to in that link, but again, it's not at all a comparison with kubernetes. It's easy at face value to say this one is better, but it's missing the point of kubernetes, which is extensibility, following standards, etc.
> Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform for packaging, deploying, and managing stateless and stateful distributed applications and containers at large scale.
I looked into this a while back, and Service Fabric was a clear winner over k8s, and resource use was a fraction of k8s too.
But, I felt it needed to gain community traction before I could commit to using it - knowing my luck, I'd build something and Microsoft would abandon it because k8s...
Kind of a chicken and egg problem, which is a shame really.
I think it's more fair to say the suit different use cases (an MS person on HN explicitly said this last year), rather than competing.
What features do you believe it's missing?
You can build Service Fabric manifests with XML.
Interesting .. Can you please elaborate more on this ?
Were you alive when Microsoft reigned as the dark lord? The contrast between life then and now is so dramatic. They simply lack the power they once wielded over the world of computers and the internet - to everyone’s great benefit, including theirs.
Yes I was. I worked in that stifling environment when anything not MS related was dismissed out of hand. Where MS's own marketing exhorted everybody to replace their 'legacy' unix systems with e.g. the wonderful system of Biztalk, Exchange and IIS.
Yes, constant vigilance so that they never regain that position again, as I'm pretty sure they desperately want to.
I doubt Microsoft wants to reign as a dark lord again at the moment - rather, they're attempting to grow their business through use of open technologies, like Google back in the 2000's. Although if any MS products/services become too dominant, I have no doubt that (like any other big company in such a position) they'll fall to the temptation to exploit their dominance for more money and power.
It's not Microsoft that's evil -- it's people and their capacity to be corrupted by inordinate power.
No, and I don't really care. Is there something wrong with that?
Am I limiting myself by ruling them out from the get go based on past behaviour?
After a decade of out right ignorance of windows services what would it take for me to catch up in order to even begin to unpack and then finally even begin to leverage what you just mentioned?
Is it even worth the time for me to try and grok it?
Am I laughing that azure runs more Linux than windows? No. I assumed that was the case years ago because you're an idiot if you're still stucking on that windows teet after all they've done. And I don't care that you think Im a close minded idiot for speaking that truth.
Why? Because not a single employer that matters to me thinks your knowledge of windows crapware is a competitive advantage in the environments most real tech operates in.
Call me when Google starts running search off of windows boxes.
Yes, by definition. You have every right to, of course! But yeah you're limiting yourself.
> what would it take for me to catch up in order to even begin to unpack and then finally even begin to leverage what you just mentioned?
What did it take for you to unpack/leverage k8s? Similar. SF runs on Linux, and is an orchestrator for fundamental components that you're used to: VMs, containers, and bare metal instances. There's nothing Windows-specific there. Particularly if you deal with a mix of stateless and stateful applications, or if multi-tenancy is an issue for you, SF has valuable strengths.
> not a single employer that matters to me thinks your knowledge of windows crapware is a competitive advantage in the environments most real tech operates in.
Hm, the only windows specific component I mentioned is Hyper-V. Other services tend to be solid implementations of open source projects you probably tolerate, like kubernetes or tensorflow. You know, places where MS is a major contributor. I was talking about our blindness to MS contributions across the spectrum - which you seem to exemplify pretty neatly.
You can limit yourself however you want. Be careful with your blanket statements though; you just excluded a lot of companies from your list of "companies you care about" and "real tech." Airbus, Atlassian, Bitnami, Cisco, Dell, Docker, Facebook, Fujitsu, GE, Hashicorp, Intel, Kaltura, Lockheed, MongoDB, New Relic, Oracle, Nokia, Raytheon, Red Hat, Roku, Salesforce, Samsung, SAP, Siemens, Sony, SUSE, Symantec, Tableau, Trend Micro, and others all work closely with Azure and Microsoft tech... maybe those companies don't count as "real tech" to you. Either that, or you should consider re-evaluating your limitations.
How am I missing out?
Most if not all of those companies are uninteresting to me.
And I don't think any of them would shy away from hiring me for my lack of experience with azure / ms tech. They might not hire me for other reasons but that would not be one of the reasons.
But once they open up to the cloud I see a lot of people installing stuff like Shiney servers, Jupytr notebooks and other open source software on Linux servers that would never have been a starter in an enterprise environment.
Windows is truly dead on the cloud and has been for a decade. The only thing people use it for is self hosted exchange, and file servers and active domains - legacy stuff.
(And the Java people all work for banks, and ride the train. Even though they're really well paid, they don't own the company, and don't get allocated parking spots in the bank's CBD offices...)
Probably an awful statistical analysis, but it's a common enough thing here I've heard other people talking about it...
Oh yeah, and iPhones. We have those - not complaining, really, but those were sold internally as "it looks better if we have those premium phones and not old junk". Ah well...
I've seen this happen too in predominantly Linux shops. In the early 2000s Microsoft worked hard to cultivate relationships with future IT leaders and those relationships have a way of enduring. Even if your CIO can't get everyone onto Windows they might still find a place for Office 365 without much time spent weighing up the alternatives.
Big difference, IBM representatives actually knew their stuff. Microsoft would rely on its enterprise sales guys to cultivate this relationships, pushing CTO to make the most stupid decisions and using system engineers to sugar coat and hide the details.
I remember one being told off by a sales person when saying “yes, it’s a bug” in one of these sales pitches.
Now you can get after the actual interesting problem of intellectual property theft and corporate espionage. Things which the firewalls of old did nothing to prevent but provide a layer of obfuscation.
Your concern about rampant malware won't even matter because the only way people can access the web services is through the VMs. The thin clients and physical workstations won't even be able to access most of those services that are mission critical.
In the situation where a company provided physical workstation is necessary, that machine would be just as isolated from the internal network as anyone else. Developers can use one of those, or use VMs that are VLAN'd off. And if your developers are automating their builds and containerizing, then your developers are going through layers of services and automation before their code goes out to production, so even they won't need access to production environments from their relatively insecure dev laptops.
They need access to a few webfrontends and be able to use their SCM server...
But in order to do that, they'll have to be able to test locally or have a really hardened access to their servers. Significantly harder than just forcing everyone on company hardware without root/admin access
That is extremely rare at larger b2b enterprises
We still restrict web access to company managed machines but it’s a layer, not an essential boundary.
Thats like 10 years of projects right there
There are some things I do like about C# and .Net ... the culture is rarely one of them. Though I still prefer it to Java for the most part.
If you can target at least 4.7.1 you can use configuration builders  to use environment variables/json/cloud parameter stores/etc to modify legacy web.config or appsettings without code changes. You can also use the .Net core config libraries directly in legacy .Net apps if the devs are willing.
We all hear about the exciting engineering projects and stories coming out of Facebook. But the IT side of their org is held together with various off the shelf enterprise products and Windows stuff.
They have a leg up because they have been available to every government entity for almost a decade. AWS and others are still hard to buy for many government entities.
Sure, it's easier to debug kernel things on Linux. But you certainly can debug Windows as well.
I don't know what to use Windows servers for if it wasn't for a project that uses MetaTrader.
Real Linux admins know how to invoke the real 'reboot' command.
Given Linux's history as OSS, it has historically been easier to be familiar with the inner workings of Linux than Windows simply by having access to the code. Other than reading System Internals, becoming MCSE certified, etc. it was really hard to know much about Windows. I'm not saying every Linux user has read the source but being built on top of OSS does allow the user to dig deeper if one wanted to. I say this as someone who started out his career in Windows and Microsoft and then later went to Linux (because I went from corporate to startup). It's much easier to pinpoint a problem with OSS and Linux, especially in situation when the documentation is lacking. It took me a lot less time to have a decent knowledge of Linux and OSS systems than it was for me to know the equivalent on Windows and Microsoft.
This effect gets compounded when you consider an entire ecosystem.
The vast majority of Linux users will never poke around the source to the Kernel ferreting out a bug, but they do have the option. On Windows it's much harder to get access without being a Microsoft employee.
I'm not a kernel hacker. But I have on occasion cracked open the source for some product on which I relied to find out why it was behaving contrary to my expections. Much more I have done that with a library upon which I was relying.
Many many times more often I have sought answers from authors or experts of a lib, etc. to clarify what I didn't understand from documentation.
All of this is easier and frendlier with open systems. MS is coloring itself more open recently, but they and the ecosystem built upon them and around them have a long way to catch up. From my perspective the gap is so large and so pervasive that I don't even bother kicking the tires any more. I don't know if MS will make it there in my productive lifetime. If they do, I think the ground will have to have shaken dramatically so many times that it will get my attention. So, I will continue to ignore them until then.
The new Microsoft doesn't care if you use Windows or Linux in Azure as long as you're using it in Azure. Windows licensing is far less profitable than any of the SaaS or PaaS offerings they'd rather you use.
Don’t know if that’s still the case though.
Well, that's to be expected. Sorry, this is in the same category as "Huawei CTO uses iPhones" or "amount X of Google employees use Surface Pro". I don't quite get what the article is trying to tell me.
"Satya Nadella once used a linux computer" is the category of thing you listed.
"Apple building android phones" would be a better snalogy for this.
Not really. Apple selling Android phones at Apple Stores is probably the best analogy.
Seems like a bad strategy for Windows Server in the long run, but they may have decided that it is already dead.
We only have two operating systems now Windows and Linux.
(MacOS for the desktop as well).
It becomes a mono culture, and it takes away healthy competition and innovation.
I want many more operating systems, not fewer.
I with MS would make it free to run Windows Server,
(something they move towards with the CLI only version).
In order to hopefully increase adoptation.
I dont think that will happen as long as MS has a lot of
enterprise custoemrs who are paying huge for the Server licenses.
There is a lot to explore on the side of Smalltalk machines, Oberon, Lisp Machines of old. As a developer, live programming language based environments is my kind of thing.
I was a big fan of the QNX demo floppy (1.44MB OS with browser), but that didn't lead to me using it on the desktop. http://toastytech.com/guis/qnxdemo.html
There might be room for something new and different that runs on it's own VM (like Smalltalk) and can use libraries on the host to get things that do not make sense re-implementing, like a web browser. If it gains sufficient traction, the work to move it to a more stripped down environment would be clearly worth it.
That all depends on what platform(s) you're using. For example, IBM still gives you zOS, AIX, the System i OS, and so on. And there are other operating systems for other platforms.
The computing world doesn't begin and end with Wintel, you know; it may seem that way sometimes, though.
I would love to see something like https://pharo.org/ booting directly. Its an OS for all intents and purposes (To my realization, languages like Smalltalk, Lisps, Forths ARE Operating Systems)
Won't comment further than that, So Windows for server scenarios is certainly not dead.
I see what you did there ;)
Windows server will be offered as a compatibility layer in Linux on top of Docker.
Having said that, I can't do anything but blame it for the slow pace of computer systems research. My reasoning is that the OS does not sell anymore (partly due to FOSS movement) and thus research computing environments hardly come out of the labs for use in production.
We are forever stuck with Unix's interpretation of what an OS could be, and there is very little compulsion/motivation/incentive (can't think of the correct word) to explore. People who do explore (example at MS research or Later Bell labs, remains in the labs)
The only thing that disrupted that was mobile. First Symbian, then iOS and Android. Sufficiently different use case that backwards compatibility was rendered irrelevant.
A post from a blog I like a lot about how Linux and NT aren’t so different: https://manybutfinite.com/post/how-the-kernel-manages-your-m....
If this sounds horrifying, consider that Windows already has a subsystem for allowing graphics drivers to crash and restart seperately. The reverse also exists: https://wiki.debian.org/NdisWrapper
But when you are a manufacturing company and just need to get your product out, you don't care about your software. You want it running for as cheap as possible. That's where Windows shines. Mac OS is explicitly unfit here. Same with the hip technologies like nodejs that require constant attention.
Everybody gives Microsoft shit for moving slow but when was the last time you had to proof that your patch doesn't break compatibility with 20 year old software that you can't even get anywhere anymore?
Why would they be replacing a product that earns them money?
Because they can make just as much money licensing versions of SQL Server et al for Linux or selling Linux cloud instances, not have to spend any more money developing a separate server OS, and make their customers happy because they can have Active Directory without Windows Update.
I'm doubtful about that.
You won't find them here, but there are plenty of Windows-only IT service providers out there. It seems crazy that any system administrator, or programmer, in 2019 would only have any interest in Windows, but they exist and there are a lot of them out there.