Microsoft enables Linux GUI applications in Windows 10 .... TF?

Nobu

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Why not? Sure would make testing Edge Linux easier if you could build and run it on Windows. :p
 

ChadD

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I was thinking why, but then realized that the next version of Windows is going to be based on Linux. I can't see that being a good thing for Linux.
Doesn't effect Linux. Linux is a kernel. If MS wants to fire 3/4 of their OS engineers and use the Kernel so be it. I would vastly improve windows. And yes it would give regular users little need to worry about Linux. I mean just like ChromeOS WindowsL is going to spy and track and all that fine stuff. But at least if things will be somewhat more secure. lol As for all the old silly archaic things windows does like Registry entries ect... Wine has already proven you can fake that stuff very easily. Hell I even setup macros to share simple settings that get saved in MS odd config save areas in my wine install with my Linux config. (Ok just a few things and I think both where my own work around for sharing save game for a couple games still MS stuff isn't all that different at the end of the day just formatted odd and they have 3 different ways to store the same info and developers often don't follow any of the official ways.)

MS has all but abandoned bigger versions of server windows. Its only a matter of time before they turn windows into the big consumer Linux DE. It should be very good for those of us that choose to run non windows distros. More official software support will benifit all... UNLESS MS does something real stupid like lock software to some new non open API. (really though MS says they are more open source friendly... and as much as I don't want to believe them the last few years they do seem to be a fairly decent team player.)

MS has lost the ability to ever retake any of the server markets... the cloud is basically all Linux. Then in consumer devices they have been getting hammered by google for awhile now. If we are all being honest gaming is about the only thing sort of keeping Windows around. Yes yes we can talk about business machines and word processors ect. But I mean MS has already proven if there is another OS (Mac) and even a non x86 ISA (M1) with hardware out there they can move all that stuff fairly painlessly. Most of the work developers are currently doing to support Apple... means a lot of major software pieces that where not already using cross platform APIs and other bits are moving that way now.

This is API running is just a natural progression of Linux on Windows. There are a lot of AI developers right now spinning up Amazon Linux power on demand (some x86 and a lot more ARM) this makes it a slight bit easier for those markets. I know a few people working for AI startups and they are not all the LinuxFU computer nerds you would expect. Its not that they don't know anything... but for what they are doing being able to run a few GUI things (or have their helper monkeys doing it) will probably make their lives a little easier. For sure though it gives MS a lot of experience building some new tools that may come in handy down the road. (If I was placing bets on a Linux powered consumer windows I would probably say 2023.... when MS launches their own ARM processors what better time)
 

pendragon1

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Embrace, extend, extinguish.
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im guessing there are some use cases where it could be handy.
 

cybereality

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This is cool, but I would much rather run Win 10 apps in Linux.

Microsoft is definitely investing a lot of time on Linux stuff, seems natural that they would do something like make Window 11 Linux-based.

I really hope they don't do an Android/ChomeOS thing that is locked down, but even in that scenario we'd probably see much better device drivers and stuff like that.
 

auntjemima

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This is cool, but I would much rather run Win 10 apps in Linux.

Microsoft is definitely investing a lot of time on Linux stuff, seems natural that they would do something like make Window 11 Linux-based.

I really hope they don't do an Android/ChomeOS thing that is locked down, but even in that scenario we'd probably see much better device drivers and stuff like that.
There is a bunch of complaints from people about this, but I see it as a positive. If Microsoft pushes more cross platform apps and the ability to run Linux apps in windows, game devs may be more inclined to release Linux versions and I can move to Linux permanently.
 

cybereality

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I actually just switched back to using Ubuntu. I dual boot, but I was playing Cyberpunk and some other ray-tracing games that don't work on Linux yet (I know they've been making some progress though).

Honestly, my machine is faster, less bloat, and I just feel like I am in more control. Gaming is about the only reason to use Windows these days, at least for me. And that is becoming less of a deal with Proton.

There's just stuff on Windows that is eternally broken, and there is no sign it will ever be fixed. For example, file searching in explorer. It takes forever and doesn't even find what you are looking for (even if you know it exists). On Linux it works almost instantly.
 

Absalom

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This is cool, but I would much rather run Win 10 apps in Linux.

Microsoft is definitely investing a lot of time on Linux stuff, seems natural that they would do something like make Window 11 Linux-based.

I really hope they don't do an Android/ChomeOS thing that is locked down, but even in that scenario we'd probably see much better device drivers and stuff like that.
They're already doing this on the development side of things. Since the release of .NET Core, they've been building a framework that is OS agnostic. They're not just aiming for webservers and console apps either, they want UI apps built on .NET technology to run on anything too. Whether it be phones or a Raspberry Pi. It isn't just a "Let's get Windows apps running on Linux" thing either. It's all about embracing cross-platform development.

MS also purchased Github a couple of years ago, which love it or hate it, is going to make them a force to be reckoned with in the open source community. They also open sourced .NET (yes, the entire frickin' thing), which they didn't have to do, but it was a HUGE gesture on their part.
 

trandoanhung1991

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I mean why not? Apart from gamers nobody cares what is running under the hood of Windows, and to the vast majority of consumers Windows is just a GUI and a bunch of habits they've come to expect. I wouldn't be surprised if they just do away with the Windows kernel and embrace the Linux kernel.

They're already probably half way there with WSL anyway. If the day comes where Windows is just a polished, well supported, "definitive" Linux distro, nobody would care probably. In fact, I'd think the majority of the world would rejoice such a scenario. For MS, that would mean unifying their consumer and enterprise stacks, and for consumers nothing changes.
 

DukenukemX

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More official software support will benifit all... UNLESS MS does something real stupid like lock software to some new non open API. (really though MS says they are more open source friendly... and as much as I don't want to believe them the last few years they do seem to be a fairly decent team player.)
Embrace, extend, and extinguish is all but a reminder how bad this can get. I really doubt any software written for Linux Windows is going to work on other distros. Technically Android and ChromeOS use the linux kernel but aren't at the same level as common linux distros.

But I mean MS has already proven if there is another OS (Mac) and even a non x86 ISA (M1) with hardware out there they can move all that stuff fairly painlessly. Most of the work developers are currently doing to support Apple... means a lot of major software pieces that where not already using cross platform APIs and other bits are moving that way now.
It works on Linux because most things are standard and everything is open source. Apple's Mac OSX isn't open and doesn't even use the Vulkan API. Pretty sure it's going to be the same with Windows, with or without a linux kernel.

A lot of this is just Microsoft saving money, much like with them using Chrome for their Edge browser. The Linux kernel takes care of most of the work for them, so they can instead focus on things like the UI and features. Apple has been doing it with Mac OSX based on FreeBSD.
 

Dk975

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I still would not run Windows even if you can run GUI Linux application in Win10. If MS does switch the kernel to Linux in Windows, they can still do all their data collection and spying. The only things I do in Windows are play one game I enjoy, Quake 3 from the CD I still own, print, and if needed scan something. I know my Brother printer has drivers for Linux, my scanner will only scan properly using the $40 Vuescan software for Linux (I don't scan that much) and I don't want to install Steam to play Quake 3.
 
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jardows

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I don't get it. What Linux-native GUI applications exist (and are widely used) that there isn't a Windows native version for? Most Linux GUI applications are just a clone of something that exists only on Windows, and they end up making a Windows version for it anyway.
 

ChadD

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I don't get it. What Linux-native GUI applications exist (and are widely used) that there isn't a Windows native version for? Most Linux GUI applications are just a clone of something that exists only on Windows, and they end up making a Windows version for it anyway.
There are plenty of GUI front end for Linux AI tools. There are also a lot of such tools that are in house. If you are AI start up with 10 computer scientists... you don't care much. If your a startup that is a few years old and you now have 100 employees... and 20 or 30 of them are basically just data entry types. Being able to hire cheaper less skilled people are just going to feed data is a nice option to have. (I think as it is most companies in that situation just run Linux anyway... BUT its surprising how many of them are interfacing with other companies old code and databases) As an example their are AI companies looking for efficiencies in older infrastructure systems using data from older databases. I'll give MS some credit it may not be a huge pool of potential users, but for a few companies yes this is going to make life a bit easier and perhaps a lot cheaper.

There are many developers out their working with massive data sets... you don't want to have to use your top pay Linux FU ninja employees to handle all of that, why hire 20 command line computer science degree employees if you can hire 15 key clickers. Now you can get the degreed coders to write one basic GUI wrapper to do the specific python ect things they want to do ect... and let the inexpensive windows only monkeys launch things with a click. I mean sure in house stuff could be compiled to run on windows and still interface with Linux. This might just make things a bit simpler... build it on Linux no fuss no muss no worries about Python versioning or anything else silly.
 

Aurelius

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I don't get it. What Linux-native GUI applications exist (and are widely used) that there isn't a Windows native version for? Most Linux GUI applications are just a clone of something that exists only on Windows, and they end up making a Windows version for it anyway.
I figure it's just to catch more server operators who either need to run mixed Windows/Linux environments or are hoping to transition to Windows. That and developers who might want to support Azure or other services in Linux.
 
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jardows

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There are plenty of GUI front end for Linux AI tools. There are also a lot of such tools that are in house. If you are AI start up with 10 computer scientists... you don't care much. If your a startup that is a few years old and you now have 100 employees... and 20 or 30 of them are basically just data entry types. Being able to hire cheaper less skilled people are just going to feed data is a nice option to have. (I think as it is most companies in that situation just run Linux anyway... BUT its surprising how many of them are interfacing with other companies old code and databases) As an example their are AI companies looking for efficiencies in older infrastructure systems using data from older databases. I'll give MS some credit it may not be a huge pool of potential users, but for a few companies yes this is going to make life a bit easier and perhaps a lot cheaper.

There are many developers out their working with massive data sets... you don't want to have to use your top pay Linux FU ninja employees to handle all of that, why hire 20 command line computer science degree employees if you can hire 15 key clickers. Now you can get the degreed coders to write one basic GUI wrapper to do the specific python ect things they want to do ect... and let the inexpensive windows only monkeys launch things with a click. I mean sure in house stuff could be compiled to run on windows and still interface with Linux. This might just make things a bit simpler... build it on Linux no fuss no muss no worries about Python versioning or anything else silly.
This makes sense. From an end-user perspective, I've had a hard time finding desktop programs that run on Linux distro's, FreeBSD, whatever, that were worth anything that didn't already have a Windows native version. I honestly don't think this will do anything for Windows developers to make Linux native version.
 

DukenukemX

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I still would not run Windows even if you can run GUI Linux application in Win10. If MS does switch the kernel to Linux in Windows, they can still do all their data collection and spying. The only things I do in Windows are play one game I enjoy, Quake 3 from the CD I still own, print, and if needed scan something. I know my Brother printer has drivers for Linux, my scanner will only scan properly using the $40 Vuescan software for Linux (I don't scan that much) and I don't want to install Steam to play Quake 3.
Have you tried using gscan2pdf? Very easy to use and it works on every printer I've tried so far. Also there's ioquake3 that works natively on Linux.
 

ChadD

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This makes sense. From an end-user perspective, I've had a hard time finding desktop programs that run on Linux distro's, FreeBSD, whatever, that were worth anything that didn't already have a Windows native version. I honestly don't think this will do anything for Windows developers to make Linux native version.
Well the thing with open source stuff... is everyone making something that isn't Linux system related always compiles a windows version. I mean why not ? Compile it for Linux Windows Unix... Mac perhaps if its not using some API Apple doesn't like.

But if your say a VLC developer... Microsoft would love for you to buy a windows laptop and keep windows on it, rather then a Apple machine or a System76/Dell Linux machine. I mean now you can compile for Linux from your windows machine via command line and test it via windows without ever having to leave windows. (ok almost no open source developers are going to do that but MS can dream.) Really though that is aspirational... I think this is more about grabbing more of the system admin and AI developer types. Plenty of companies don't really want to pay what Linux knowhow costs. Even with all the changes on the server front Linux experts still charge a premium. This allows companies to roll out GUI Linux tool that may perhaps save them a few bucks... and help MS from loosing some of that market share I guess. I believe those developers are more and more important to MS as they probably are at some point switching to the kernel. I mean they are already one of the biggest Linux suppliers with the cloud stuff. I think this is just one more tool to try and keep as many developers as they can in Microsofts sphere of influence.
 

michalrz

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Dunno about full integration, GPL is quite anal about it and it would prevent them from doing some of the things they like/need to do for profits.
 

michalrz

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Some bits from GPL2:
"The license(...) applies to the kernel source as a whole, though individual source files can have a different license which is required to be compatible with the GPL-2.0:"
HOWEVER!
"The User-space API (...) are a special case. According to bla bla the Bible, the syscall interface is a clear boundary, which does not extend the GPL requirements to any software which uses it to communicate with the kernel."
So, some stuff can be made to work and still provided as closed.
 

THRESHIN

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Love the speculation on MS going to Linux. Would be interesting for sure. In theory, less bugs and better security.

But we're forgetting something here...this is MS we're talking about. Laundry list of botched updates, some bugs have never been fixed, but hey at least they added in a bunch of features nobody will ever use. Seems like every time they try to make it more idiot proof they build a better idiot in parallel.

My point is that we should not expect much to change. Little faster, little more secure and a little less buggy. With a little luck that is. It'll still be bloated with crap like Windows store and cortana, games I didn't want but can't easily uninstall, unnecessary UI changes that don't make sense, etc.

Nothing is going to change until they fix their quality control problems and start listening to their customers. They days of "we will tell you what you want" are over. MS hasn't figured that out yet.
 

Lakados

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I'm in the process of putting the proper build of Win 10 onto an old laptop to see if I can finally get rid of the Redhat 5.4 machine that lives to my left because it is the most recent OS that can run the interface to our accounting systems database for maintenance. I eagerly await the day that system is gone from my life.
 

sadsteve

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I actually just switched back to using Ubuntu. I dual boot, but I was playing Cyberpunk and some other ray-tracing games that don't work on Linux yet (I know they've been making some progress though).

Honestly, my machine is faster, less bloat, and I just feel like I am in more control. Gaming is about the only reason to use Windows these days, at least for me. And that is becoming less of a deal with Proton.

There's just stuff on Windows that is eternally broken, and there is no sign it will ever be fixed. For example, file searching in explorer. It takes forever and doesn't even find what you are looking for (even if you know it exists). On Linux it works almost instantly.

Yep, I dual boot and gaming is the major thing that keeps a windows partition on my machine. I also would rather do my photo editing in Affinity Photo instead of Gimp! All my other computer needs are handled by MX Linux.
 

DukenukemX

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Yep, I dual boot and gaming is the major thing that keeps a windows partition on my machine. I also would rather do my photo editing in Affinity Photo instead of Gimp! All my other computer needs are handled by MX Linux.
I use Krita for photo editing and it's no Photoshop. Gaming is still a major problem and it's mostly Wine that's the problem. Native games off Steam works fine now, with no apparent problems I have to deal with. Most emulators now use AppImage, which actually works perfectly fine. Proton off Steam works mostly but there's still games that aren't compatible yet. Run Wine for games outside of Steam and you'll run into a lot of problems like I have. The older the hardware you have the worse it gets too. If your hardware can't do Vulkan then good luck because most stuff today depends on DXVK or VKD3D-Proton. I still haven't gotten Red Dead Redemption 2 working on Linux. DX9 games used to be happy with OpenGL 3.3 but now I gotta use "MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=4.3" to get old DX9 games working on graphic cards that can only do OpenGL 3.3.

If you have old Intel laptops with anything pre-Broadwell then you'll be using OpenGL 2.1, which really sucks for DX9 games. If this were AMD I could get away with Gallium Nine but pre-Broadwell has no access to the new Gallium driver from Intel. The performance for DX9 games on a Celeron 847 is horrible on Linux through Wine. Native ports like Mario 64 Linux actually runs really fast, but n64 emulation is horrible. I use RetroArch and while it does work on a Celeron 847, I wouldn't consider it playable. There's a surprising lack of n64 emulators on Linux, and Project 64 doesn't work through Wine on something that old. There needs to be more decompilation projects for old N64 games.

If I ran Windows on that old laptop I probably wouldn't run into as many problems with older games, surprisingly. There's no OpenGL support for older Intel GPU's on Windows 10, but that's less of a problem than I thought. My main PC still runs Windows 10 because I still can't get all my games to work on Linux. This is mostly because a lot of what makes Proton work, is sticking with Proton. Trying to get Windows games to work outside of Proton and thus Steam is going to be a challenge. Sometimes I get it working and sometimes I can't figure it out.
 

cybereality

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I've had good luck with Proton. Most of the games I try work fine out-of-box, and a few others just need small tweaks to the launch options.

One game that gave me a lot of trouble was Watch Dogs 2, the game itself was fine (and even better performance than Windows) but the damn UPlay messed things up.

Haven't tried it in a few months, maybe they fixed it, but it was really annoying (would lock up my computer, though I could still kill it with the command line).
 

4saken

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ah, reminds me of when i was a *nix noob 25 yrs ago. Lets just try to get it to run on Linux. Still use *nix everyday, but never as a desktop at this point. But a great way to learn! MS has been going this route for years, can't believe people are still up in arms or surprised at this latest revelation.
 

idiomatic

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Fork Linux. Put billions into MS Linux. Make better (supported) versions of everything and make them native to MS Linux. Add a proprietary closed source desktop or something. Now 95% of people use linux, but they use the MS fork of it which has back compatibility for everything. Is the only one that runs office. Only one supported by Adobe etc. Make sure everything is hopelessly broken on vanilla linux until the only people backporting are GNUphiles.
 

pendragon1

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Fork Linux. Put billions into MS Linux. Make better (supported) versions of everything and make them native to MS Linux. Add a proprietary closed source desktop or something. Now 95% of people use linux, but they use the MS fork of it which has back compatibility for everything. Is the only one that runs office. Only one supported by Adobe etc. Make sure everything is hopelessly broken on vanilla linux until the only people backporting are GNUphiles.
and then finally, it can be "the year of linux" :)
 

DukenukemX

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I've had good luck with Proton. Most of the games I try work fine out-of-box, and a few others just need small tweaks to the launch options.

One game that gave me a lot of trouble was Watch Dogs 2, the game itself was fine (and even better performance than Windows) but the damn UPlay messed things up.

Haven't tried it in a few months, maybe they fixed it, but it was really annoying (would lock up my computer, though I could still kill it with the command line).
Proton works pretty good but like I said I need Proton to work outside of Steam. One solution I have is using Proton GE as Wine. It's tricky but I've had success by making a Wine Prefix for it and then copying some Wine files so I have access to winecfg. I rename the dist folder and move it to /opt. So instead of running "wine game.exe" I run "WINEPREFIX=/home/username/.proton /opt/proton-ge/bin/wine game.exe". It works surprisingly well, even though I'm not suppose to use Proton outside of Steam. Also don't mix up regular Wine and Proton in the same prefix as that can mess things up. Keep .wine for regular Wine or Wine-Staging and .proton for Proton stuff.
 

RanceJustice

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I'm a huge supporter of Linux and advocate for open source software under "libre" licenses (including the GPLv3 etc) and, while on one hand I'm pleased to see Microsoft becoming more Linux friendly, I'm concerned that in the long run it could be harmful depending on how things progress. Microsoft (among others) has bit of a history of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" and their concerning business decisions both in the past and more recently (ie recent Win10 app store style, monetization, everything-as-a-proprietary-service etc) creates a huge skeptical barrier that MS will have to overcome before I can really say that they're doing a good thing or being truly Linux friendly.

This doesn't mean I can't value their interest and investment if it means things like increasing compatibility, viability for Linux applications and things like Wine/Proton alike etc... but I am concerned about things like
Fork Linux. Put billions into MS Linux. Make better (supported) versions of everything and make them native to MS Linux. Add a proprietary closed source desktop or something. Now 95% of people use linux, but they use the MS fork of it which has back compatibility for everything. Is the only one that runs office. Only one supported by Adobe etc. Make sure everything is hopelessly broken on vanilla linux until the only people backporting are GNUphiles.

There's a huge precedent with Linux and FOSS where companies will use it as a base (a good thing) but not only build something proprietary atop it while giving back little if anything in the process. For instance, check out how Google has handled Android. Android is Linux based and there is the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) core releases for each update. Aside from frustratingly proprietary chipset/firmware requirements on most hardware, it is possible to run "baseline" AOSP builds....but that functionality and user experience is a far cry from what is the full/typical android experience. While other companies would often add their own apps and system/desktop environments (Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus) that could diverge from "vanilla" Android, it was usually thought that the Nexus / Pixel devices showed the "pure" ideal of the OS. For quite some time, the default OS on Nexus / Pixel devices was pretty close to AOSP with the exception of some Google "branded" applications pre installed (as opposed to often very similar apps in AOSP that didn't have the branding), but over the years it has gotten increasingly divergent with the Pixel experience more and more dependent on proprietary applications, even system-level ones like the launcher. Furthermore, there's a lot of dependence on underlying Google services like Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), the Maps API etc... which are are often proprietary and provide elements like push messaging support that, if lacking, mean significantly worse battery life or other limitations. There are ways around this, but its obvious how different the experience is loading up the latest Pixel stock vs the same version using only AOSP and without GApps (or even with the FOSS partial replacement, MicroG).

This is the sort of thing I'd be concerned Microsoft's interest in Linux may result. For all the discussion of fragmentation in the Linux world, compatibility is usually only an issue of changing packaging, libraries or the like which are mostly FOSS. Having someone like Microsoft come in and create a proprietary "standard" fork which is now the new focus, if proprietary, could be harmfully disruptive, causing a much bigger choice between functionality and libre/openness than ever before . Now, its possible MS could do everything FOSS with a license to ensure that, deciding they're going to focus their monetization on support and services - something with which they're already familiar in the business world . This would be commendable and truly give back to the FOSS community , but I worry that a faux-attempt or other half measure at best would be more likely at this point. So there's a mountain of skepticism to overcome and a lot of steps to be taken for Microsoft to really be favoring Linux and the libre ethos, but if it could happen it would be a tremendous boon to the whole community. For now, watch and wait .
 
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