In a move that would never have happened in years past, Microsoft has posted instructions on how to download and install Linux.
Microsoft once had a reputation for protecting its turf so aggressively that challenging the company in any of its markets was a veritable death sentence for most businesses. How things have changed under current CEO Satya Nadella, with the most recent example being the company posting instructions on how to install the Linux operating system.
Microsoft has provided Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) for some time, giving users the ability to run Linux apps within Windows. Surprisingly, Microsoft’s instructions are not limited to using WSL but involve installation in a virtual machine, as well as installing Linux on bare metal for use as a person’s sole OS.
- New to using Linux? We recommend starting with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as it’s the easiest way to get up and running.
- Work in a business environment with more complex needs related to scale or security? We recommend running Linux as a Virtual Machine (VM) in the cloud and checking out the support that Azure has to offer. This also applies if you want to run Linux as a server.
- Only want to run Linux as your primary operating system? If you are good with a slightly more complicated install process and don’t need access to Windows tools (like Outlook, Teams, Word, PowerPoint, etc), you can run Linux on bare metal to access the full potential of your hardware without any overhead from virtualization or emulation.
Microsoft’s instructions are well-written, easy-to-follow, and detailed enough to give most users all they need to get started.
The move is certainly a major — and welcome — departure from the Microsoft of old.