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Microsoft had a few surprising announcements at the Build developer conference today in Seattle. One was that it was expanding its support for Linux-based operating systems. The OS giant already stunned the community last year when it added a Bash shell and support for Ubuntu at last year’s conference. This year they are adding support for SUSE and Fedora as well.
Redmond is even adding the three distros to the Windows Store. Engadget says that once you put Windows into “Developer Mode” and turn on Linux support, you simply go to the Windows Store and download your choice of the three Linux distributions. From there you just run the OS on top of Windows with no need to create a separate partition or run a virtual machine. TechCrunch reports that Linux systems will be able to run concurrently.
"You can even run all three Linux systems side-by-side."
It seems that Gates and company are trying to make friends with the developer community which largely uses open-source tools and operates in Linux environments. Just last summer Microsoft released .NET Core 1.0, its software development platform, which now runs on any operating system including macOS.
Microsoft’s Windows Developer Platform Vice President Kevin Gallo indicated that “the company didn’t really receive a lot of requests for supporting any of Bash’s competing shells, but it did receive plenty of requests to support other distributions,” so they obliged.
No word yet on exactly when the Linux offerings will hit the Windows Store. Presumably, it will be soon or at least by the time Windows 10's Fall Creators Update is released.