In a surprising move, Microsoft announced today that it's making its SQL Server database system available to customers running Linux. The sprawling relational database system was previously a Windows exclusive, but Microsoft says it wants "to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud" in the spirit of "meeting [customers] where they are."
Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu developer Canonical are already working with Microsoft to bring SQL Server to their platforms. Redmond says it's opening a private preview of "core relational database capabilities" of SQL Server on Linux today for customers running Ubuntu, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Microsoft says it's targeting mid-2017 for general availability of SQL Server on Linux.
Foley further notes that SQL Server 2016 is nearing release candidate status. A general release will follow later this year. Microsoft is also hosting an event called "Data Driven" on March 10 where CEO Satya Nadella, executive vice president Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president Joseph Sirosh, and Microsoft North America president Judson Althoff are all slated to present more information about the upcoming SQL Server update.