Microsoft’s countermove to MySQL

30 March 2016

What SQL Server on Linux means for Microsoft

Microsoft has announced plans to provide a version of SQL Server that will run on a Linux operating system. Its blog article suggests that this is currently a limited technical preview with full availability scheduled for mid-2017.

This is an intriguing move by Microsoft. It follows the trend of Microsoft’s recent change in direction, from a Microsoft technology-centred approach to one more inclusive of other technologies such as Linux, OS X and Git. The development indicates Microsoft’s acceptance that some customers will not be moving from Linux to Windows.

However, it also acts as a much needed tactical move in an increasingly competitive market. The Oracle-owned MySQL open source relational database engine has generated considerable traction in recent years. It is now the go-to database platform for Linux and has reached a level of maturity that is prompting IT leaders to question the costs of Microsoft SQL Server on their Windows platform when MySQL is equally capable. Not only that, the move to cloud is gathering pace and Linux is emerging as a key platform for cloud providers.

With the dominance of Microsoft SQL Server under threat, providing an alternative solution on Linux challenges the rise of MySQL and safeguards the enterprise database market for Microsoft.

The development certainly has the potential to change the enterprise database landscape, although having been designed for the Microsoft Windows operating system for nearly 20 years, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux may require some iterations before becoming a serious contender. Dorset Software will be keeping an eye on future developments.

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