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Microsoft plans to release its SQL Server database management program for the Linux operating system, the latest in a series of moves by the Redmond technology company to make its traditional technologies work in conjunction with open-source platforms.

Microsoft executive Scott Guthrie. (GeekWire File Photo)
Microsoft executive Scott Guthrie. (GeekWire File Photo)

“This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a post this afternoon announcing the company’s plans. “We are bringing the core relational database capabilities to preview today, and are targeting availability in mid-2017.”

It’s a pragmatic move by the company. By releasing a version of SQL Server for Linux, the company is betting that the overall positive effects on SQL Server adoption will outweigh any negatives from business users who might see it as a reason to rely less on Windows Server over time.

Al Gillen, IDC group vice president for enterprise infrastructure, says in the Microsoft blog post that he expects the move to “accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server.”

Microsoft’s historically-troubled relationship with Linux and other open source technologies has been gradually changing over the years, and those changes have been accelerating under CEO Satya Nadella. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, has this to say about today’s news:

Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform works with Linux and other open-source technologies, and the company has also released an open-source version of its .NET development platform.

The announcement coincides with the launch of SQL Server 2016, which Guthrie describes as “the most significant release of SQL Server that we have ever done.”

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