Microsoft rolls out the private preview of SQL Server to select Linux users, eyeing a full release sometime by mid-2017.
The enterprise product is arguably second to the Windows operating system in terms of earning Microsoft the high-profile status it holds. In other words, the arrival of SQL Server to Linux is big news, not to mention that the development marks the first time that the company is sending out one of its main products beyond the Windows territory.
"SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution. One with mission-critical performance, industry-leading TCO, best-in-class security, and hybrid cloud innovations - like Stretch Database which lets customers access their data on-premises and in the cloud whenever they want at low cost - all built in," Scott Guthrie, executive VP of the Cloud and Enterprise Group of Microsoft, says.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn't exactly like the idea of the open-source operating system, going to lengths of calling it a "cancer" and an equivalent of "communism" in the software industry. That means that the Linux version of SQL Server could have come sooner if it weren't for his objections.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella doesn't share the same sentiments as his predecessor, where this progress serves as evidence to that.
"I think it was a religious thing. We would love to have seen this Linux thing five years ago, we were telling them that's what they should do," Merv Adrian, an analyst at Gartner, says.
Moreover, Nadella says that this move could potentially create a better standing for the company in the database market that runs on other operating systems.
"I want us to be aggressive in going after all opportunities," he says.
Under Nadella's leadership, other endeavors of Microsoft that deviate from the long-running unwillingness of the company's previous head to expand include the Linux compatibility of the cloud-computing platform Azure.
This is expected to be a lucrative undertaking for Microsoft, and it proves how Nadella knows that working with rivals in the competition could be a fruitful venture when carried out correctly.