Microsoft (MS) has open-sourced the Windows command line scripting tool, PowerShell. Alpha versions have been released for Linux (Red Hat, Ubuntu, CentOS) and MacOS on GitHub. Especially when a core component (the .NET frame work) that it depends on have already been opensourced by Microsoft. Either as a means to court the open source community or some trick in its sleeve, no one can rely tell.
First, I personally don’t see the need for this, for I know that Linux has is own functioning shell/scripting application (like Bash) to do the same things that could be achieved by the PowerShell. Even though it would be of immense benefit for MS developers to leverage their skills being easily deployed to a Linux environment and likewise for open source developers. It mainly revolves around the attempt by Microsoft to stamp its feet properly in cloud/server services.
It seems that Microsoft have come to see the importance in listening to the community of software users (which has been the ultimate quality of the FOSS philosophy) and responding accordingly. Though there is more to learn, being a company that have been formed around a closed-source ecosystem.
Secondly, irrespective of the fact that Microsoft is making an attempt at proving that the love it allegedly profess for Linux is real by the actions it had taken in open-sourcing some of its critical applications. Many in the FOSS community are still skeptical about MS’s true intentions. For many of us we have come to notice that the areas where Microsoft has synergize with Linux has been in , as I said earlier, the enterprise arena – – where Linux has a comparative advantage. If MS really loves Linux, and before the FOSS community would see it that way, it should open source critical desktop applications – an area where Linux is still struggling to dominate. I would really believe that MS loves Linux when I see apps like MS Office, Encarta, Visual Studio, fonts, multimedia codecs and the likes are easily portable to Linux and without any patent issue.
But till then all we have to do is cross our finger crossed and watch out how it ultimately unfolds.