Rumors are saying that Microsoft may be supporting and offering Linux as part of their Azure cloud service. Instead of building cloud apps, Microsoft will allow users to create persistent virtual machines – allowing Linux to be virtualized within Azure. Good/Bad? Good for Azure, definitely, but for Windows Server products? Who knows. The customer is always right, and giving them options is another way to win them over!
Adding Linux to Azure would be a big step. Even though Redmond has warmed up to the open source community, Linux servers are still a major competitive threat to the Windows Server franchise. Yet the move is not without precedent: Microsoft and Novell (now SuSE) inked a pact over five years ago to support SuSE Linux, and more recently Microsoft hooked up with Red Hat to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux.