Microsoft is bringing its popular database software (MS SQL Server) to Linux and will be available sometime next year (2017). They announced this yesterday (March 7, 2016) and you can read the blog post HERE. Most people will think that these news are coming like thunder from a clear sky. If you’ve been following along in recent years, the release isn’t that much of a shock. Microsoft has been much more willing to support competing operating systems (Think Azure Cloud Services) under CEO Satya Nadella, who was quick to acknowledge that Windows was no longer the center of the computing universe.
This is the first time that Microsoft has ever let the SQL server to run on a non-Windows platform. Enabling SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux is not a big deal. I would go as far as saying it is a HUGE deal!!! Microsoft is making big steps towards positioning itself as a cross platform solution provider. Lets not forget that the majority of Cloud and even On-premises servers are still running Linux. This move will give customers a choice without the fear of being locked-in to use Microsoft Server. “…We would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server.” says Al Gillen (group vice president, enterprise infrastructure, at IDC)
In the database world Microsoft is up against several free and open-source options as well as commercial offerings from giants like Oracle. By lowering its fences and making SQL Server available for Linux , Microsoft becomes more competitive. Despite the risk of losing Windows Server licenses, I think this is a good long-term move. Can we say that Microsoft has learned from their mistake with releasing Windows Mobile a little too late in the race for mobile dominance and is trying to prevent the same results when it comes to data? I personally think they are making these changes right on time considering the big surge of Big Data!
SQL Server is available in a “preview” version on Linux today, with a full release planned for the middle of 2017.
Is this a good move for Microsoft? Will they be able to deliver? Let me know what you think.