Microsoft embraces open source in the cloud and on-premises

With the announcement of a broad swathe of new data products and services at Microsoft Connect in New York City last week — including that the next release of SQL Server will support Linux (and Docker) —  the software giant has signaled a renewed focus on customer choice and flexibility, underscoring the increasing importance of cloud computing as a central pillar of its business.

“We’ve been on this journey for the last few years now,” says Rohan Kumar, general manager, Database Systems, Microsoft. “It’s really a company about choice right now. We really want to meet customers where they are.”

Microsoft has offered multiple flavors of Linux on its Azure cloud public cloud platform and infrastructure for several years now.

“Microsoft loves Linux,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the 2014 announcement of new Azure services. “Twenty percent of Azure is already Linux. We will always have first-class support for Linux [distributions].”

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