I just read from this title that Microsoft is creating a Linux operating system called "Azure Sphere OS". Is this true?

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    A big hello to all the programmers coming here from the Big Three Stack Exchange sites. Please be aware we are not particularly interested in your hot take comment about Microsoft, Linux and Open Source here. Comments are to improve or clarify questions and answers. Thanks!
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 18, 2018 at 8:48
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    Doesn't this question technically violate the rules about things that are easily answerable on Google? The answer to this question is being widely confirmed by the primary source. No need to Skeptics it. Apr 18, 2018 at 16:39
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    @WakeDemons3 it seems to be a common thing these days - wake up, read the news, see something has happened, open up one or another of the Stack Exchange sites, see "did X happen?" in "Hot Network Questions".
    – Moo
    Apr 19, 2018 at 0:56
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    I think the basis of this question is some ambiguity in the term "operating system"; they are not (any time soon) going to produce a desktop operating system based on linux that could appeal to Windows users. Apr 19, 2018 at 3:31
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    The fact that you can Google an answer is not, in itself, a justification to close or delete a question. Furthermore, questioning the accuracy of news sources is well within our bailiwick. If you think the rules should be changed, please make your case on Skeptics.Meta.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 20, 2018 at 3:11

3 Answers 3


Yes, this is Microsoft's entry into the world of internet connected devices

It is using a customised linux kernel as this is designed for low powered chips to be included in things like fridges and washing machines rather than full power computers


A custom Linux kernel enables silicon diversity and innovation.

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    I wouldn't say entry; Windows 10 IoT exists, as do the Embedded editions (incl. CE) dating back two decades.
    – Bob
    Apr 17, 2018 at 1:10

Yes. Actually, Microsoft has supported Linux for business consumers for some time, so this is not all that big a shift.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the job in 2014, one of the first things he did was announce that "Microsoft Loves Linux." Since then, Microsoft has added robust support for Linux in its Azure cloud platform, while letting developers integrate Linux with their copies of Windows 10. In 2015, too, Microsoft developed a much smaller Linux-based technology as part of a larger open-source software package.

For the first time ever, Microsoft will distribute its own version of Linux

You are right to note that in the 2000s, Microsoft tried very hard to crush Linux. But this is ancient history in Silicon Valley terms.

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    Also worth knowing (and even more ancient) that while this is the first time they are distributing a linux version, it's not their first foray into *nix systems entirely. Back in the 70s, MS licensed Xenix from AT&T (which later became Santa Cruz' SCO Unix)
    – mcalex
    Apr 18, 2018 at 9:26

Microsoft has released a Linux-based system before (though not as an "operating system" product): https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-demonstrates-its-linux-based-azure-cloud-switch-operating-system/

Microsoft's Azure system is very Linux friendly and hosts many Linux instances. At one point, Microsoft was the largest contributor to the Linux kernel.

In general, though Microsoft fiercely competed with Linux in the 2000s, it was the GPL (the General Public License) that scared Microsoft the most, particularly its "viral" nature: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_license

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