Microsoft actively worked to suppress Linux, a computer operating system whose underlying code is freely available to the world at large. It once threatened legal action against businesses that used the open source OS, insisting that Linux infringed on patents underpinning its flagship Windows operating system. And though the company has come to realize that Linux is now one of the primary means of building large online systems—and that it won’t survive unless it helps businesses use the OS in this way—it continues to push Windows as a viable alternative. At first blush, a Microsoft Linux still seems a strange (and slightly amusing) thing.
But, yes, that sentence does say what you think it says. Earlier this month, a Microsoft engineer discussed Microsoft’s very own Linux in a Microsoft blog post. The company is using this creation to run at least some of the networking hardware that drives its online services.