Thoughts on GNU/kWindows — GNU programs running natively on top of the Windows kernel
This article was originally published on April 5th, 2016, after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would include the GNU/Linux command line.
Currently, it appears that Windows’ accommodation of Ubuntu binaries will be a positive development, allowing more people to use more free software more of the time. From a technical perspective, it is also testament our success building tools that even users of other operating systems find indispensable. We are still reviewing the technical details to develop a complete analysis of the situation.
Microsoft’s apparent moves to work productively with free software are not the result of magnanimity by Microsoft, but rather years of advocacy, movement-building and quality development by the free software movement. We’ve pushed Microsoft a long way from the bad old days of the early 2000s when the company used negative advertising campaigns to spread fear and doubt about GNU/Linux and free software technologies, in an effort to quash a better paradigm that they found threatening.