Is Microsoft finally ready to let go of Windows?

In today's open source roundup: Microsoft may be ready to move on from Windows. Plus: CentOS 7 released, and a review of Makulu Linux 6 with MATE 1.8

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Linux, Windows

Windows has been synonymous with Microsoft for as long as I can remember. The company is infamous for it's "Windows everywhere" mind-set that has caused it to miss the mobile revolution and lag behind companies like Apple and Google. Now, finally, it looks like Microsoft may be ready to move on from Windows, according to Time.

According to Time:

What a difference two years and a change in leadership makes. On Thursday morning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed a much different vision compared to that of his predecessor, one that emphasizes productivity regardless of the computing platform. Although Windows will still play a role in Microsoft’s strategy, it’s no longer the focus. Nadella’s memo to employees doesn’t even mention Windows until the 23rd paragraph.

Put another way, Nadella is doing what Ballmer never could: letting go of Windows as the center of Microsoft’s universe. Instead, Microsoft will be satisfied if people are using services like Office 365, Skype, OneDrive and Bing, whether they’re on an iPhone, Android device or Windows PC.

More at Time

Microsoft let go of Windows
Image credit: Time

Am I the only one who is taking the idea that Microsoft is letting go of its Windows-first mentality with a grain of salt? While I think it's a good idea, I have to wonder if the new CEO of Microsoft is really going to be able to make this happen. Microsoft is a huge corporation, and trying to change the culture is like trying to quickly shift the direction of an aircraft carrier.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but I do wonder if Nadella's efforts are just another case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It could take years for him to actually make a dent in Microsoft's current corporate culture, and I wonder if Microsoft's board of directors and investors are willing to wait that long? He may be hard pressed to show results quickly in a situation that requires a significant amount of time for reform to take root.

I think if Microsoft had done this ten years ago then they might be in a different place entirely. But now? It just seems like it's far too little and far too late to help Microsoft climb out of the hole it has dug for itself. Then again I could be totally wrong about this, you never know. If he can pull it off then Nadella may eventually become the Steve Jobs of Microsoft, he'll be credited with taking a moribund company and breathing new life into it.

CentOS 7 released
BetaNews reports that CentOS 7 has been released.

According to BetaNews:

Today, the CentOS Project team announces version 7 of the free operating system. While the focus is on servers and the enterprise, there is no reason why it can't serve as a desktop OS too.

The team details the following major changes:

Kernel updated to 3.10.0
Support for Linux Containers
Open VMware Tools and 3D graphics drivers out of the box
OpenJDK-7 as default JDK
In Place Upgrade from 6.5 to 7.0 (as already mentioned)
LVM-snapshots with ext4 and XFS
Switch to systemd, firewalld and GRUB2
XFS as default file system
iSCSI and FCoE in kernel space
Support for PTPv2
Support for 40G Ethernet Cards
Supports installations in UEFI Secure Boot mode on compatible hardware

More at BetaNews

The CentOS site has a download page where you can snag CentOS 7, and you can visit the CentOS wiki page for more information. Be sure also to check out the CentOS forum, and mailing lists for help if you need it.

Makulu Linux 6 with MATE 1.8 review
The Linux Help Guy channel on YouTube has a video review of Makulu Linux 6 with MATE 1.8, and they like it a lot.

Makulu Linux 6 looks like a fine replacement for Windows 7, or any other Windows for that matter. If you're interested in trying it, you can visit the Makulu Linux site to download the MATE version, and you also have the option of getting the XFCE, KDE or Enlightenment versions.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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