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The world is changing. Microsoft has been doing things in the open source world for some time, but this last week it has gotten wild.
Microsoft has just kicked off launch activities for SQL Server 2016 with general availability later this year. Spatial data has been supported in SQL Server since 2012. According to a Microsoft blog post this is the most significant release of SQL Server ever. It includes some very cool technology: in-memory database support with dramatic performance increases and advanced analytics based on R that enables customers to do real-time predictive analytics on both operational and analytic data among other things. Microsoft introduced Polybase, a SQL Server connector to Hadoop in 2015. Microsoft has now incorporated that functionality into on-premises SQL Server 2016.
That's all pretty cool, but the biggest surprise is that Microsoft has announced plans to bring SQL Server to Linux. The core relational database capabilities are being previewed right now. SQL Server 2016 will be available on Linux in mid-2017.
Microsoft has just released the source code to an open-source operating system, based on Debian GNU/Linux, that runs on network switches. The software is called SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud). SONiC builds upon Microsoft's Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) operating system.