When I first installed Visual Studio Code as a .deb, it felt like hell freezing over: Microsoft building software for Linux was something hardly to be imagined in the late 1990s (talking Halloween Papers) and the early 2000s. So far I like some of the aspects of what could be the "new" Microsoft, and I see a few potential reasons for these changes:
A load of developers recently have been socialized and used to working "in the open", working with and on FLOSS software and this way more or less influencing the corporate culture at Microsoft, too, while trying to provide a good working environment for talents. There was a podcast episode on changelog (I think it was this one changelog.com/podcast/134 ) on that a while ago.
Current competition in some interesting fields is way stronger than years ago. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, hardly anything could endanger the Windows desktop and the homogenous Windows desktop/server environment in corporate networks. By now, we see Apple devices, Android tablets and the like on one end and AWS/Google Cloud/Docker+Linux based servers on the other, for a load of applications. Even some SMEs don't buy Microsoft software anymore for some core things such as calendaring and e-mail instead but rather buy into Google Apps for Business. At some point, Microsoft possibly needed some change, and maybe it's even good they focussed on something they (definitely) always were capable of doing pretty well: Developer tools. Visual Studio Code is great despite its .. fragile ... foundation, I'm using it on a daily basis for almost everything.
Maybe however, too, something less optimistic: Maybe, right now, Microsoft is not focussing anymore on aspects that don't seem that much relevant and important anymore. We're talking IoT and artificial intelligence as likely-to-be future game changers. Maybe we will see a much "harsher" Microsoft again in near future trying to compete in these fields, with all means at hand (patents, licensing, ...).
It's likely to stay interesting; meanwhile I enjoy the "more open" Microsoft where I encounter it. :)
I'm definitely enjoying it (albeit, cautiously) as well.
All good points, I appreciate the comment.
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