Well - often people think Microsoft is just that, only all about their own software. Well this is not true. MS inter-operates and co-operates with several of the competitive OS from other vendors. Most notable being Linux, and when we talk of Linux not just the stock Linux but a plethora of Linux variants. (SuSE, CentOS, Ubuntu).
Well what is the basis of this?. If you don't believe this, Microsoft now allows you to pick and choose the OS of the VM you want to spin up and run on Windows Azure.
You can see this bewildering array of choices:
While these are choices from the Azure Management Portal, there are 100s of additional images from the VMDEPOT https://vmdepot.msopentech.com
These vary from custom packages (OS+ applications on top of it, pre-installed and configured) to highly specialized images which will take hours for one to create and configure oneself. A few examples – various Word Press images on top of various Linux versions, various BitNami images and so on.
Now if you click on Browse VM Depot, you will see a bewildering array of pre-canned VM images, primarily various LINUX versions with applications such as Apache, PHP, Ruby, WordPress all pre-installed and pre-configured – ready to be used.
This is very good for people like me, who worked on UNIX platforms for long time and as well talking to customers who have a heterogeneous platform mix in their environment. Happy Linux’ing.