At its annual developer conference BUILD, Microsoft, on Wednesday, announced that it will be releasing an anniversary update for Windows 10 which will be available for free. The update adds a number of features, but one of the biggest aspects of the update is that the company has collaborated with Canonical to add elements of Linux natively in the operating system.
The anniversary update for Windows 10 will add the Linux ‘Bash Shell’. This is a significant announcement as it shows that the company is very different from what it used be under its previous CEO Steve Ballmer, who had described Linux as an ‘cancer’.
The Bash shell has been for long been the standard on OS X and Linux systems as opposed to the PowerShell which is the default terminal for developers on Windows. For consumers, this may not be a big deal, but for developers this will be big news as it will enable them to write their .shbash code on Windows. This will go through a new Linux sub-system.
According to many this is the subset that Microsoft developed for Project Astoria, which was project to port Android apps to Windows, but recently the company had announced that it had shelved the project.
Overall, Microsoft announced that now 270 million users were using Windows 10.
“With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we’re celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This significant update will help you interact with your Windows 10 devices as naturally as you interact with the world around you – using your pen, presence and voice,” Myerson said.
“We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform.”
Besides the momentous addition of Linux bits in Windows 10, the anniversary update brings a raft of improvements and feature updates across the board, especially for developers. Microsoft has announced a converter for .Net and Win32 applications, which will help over 16 million traditional Windows apps to be converted to the Universal app platform which run across devices like the Xbox One, Windows Phones and PCs and tablets.
Microsoft also announced improvements for the core Windows 10 experience to inking, to security with Windows Hello, which is now integrated with the Edge browser and also the Cortana assistant.