Microsoft has been reaching out to developers who use third-party languages and applications with a raft of initiatives and announcements. Many developers are surprised when by the comprehensiveness of the company’s Interoperability Bridges and Labs Center. But it has to do more to win Java and Open Source developers over to …
Only one thing
Well actually two,
get rid of .NET
...make Windows more like *nix? Why not just cut out the middle man and go *nix?
If .Net is going to be such a pain to port to Azure, the incremental cost of re-implementation on another platform won't be much more and will be off-set by the gains in efficiency (purchase, maintenance etc).
Lets face it "cloud" is just the 1970/80s with a bit of virtualisation (and lots of PR puffery). A big server sharing its resources is exactly the arena *nix was designed to work in. If that is already fit for purpose, why waste time on Azure?
But do they really want to?
It's not because you can that it's a good idea. I guess .NET developers are happy with Azure, java developers with Google AppEngine or the Amazon AWS. Why would a Java developer move to Azure taken into account that they generally are not fond of .NET or MS. Why would MS bother given the small chance on success.
Services for Unix
Services for Unix was execrable. It sunk its claws deep into Windows OS, was very primitive, clunky, ate loads of memory and was treated like an illegitimate child by MS. I won't miss it at all.
I think in most cases Cygwin is a perfectly adequate substitute. It's completely self contained, supports the majority of popular open source projects, it's user-land but it does allow you to run daemons such as sshd as services if you want.
Quite. Anyone that has used MS Services for Unix knows what a horrible beast it is. The cynical side of me says it was/is like that on purpose but I digress.
Personally I setup cygwin with portage, a package management system, on top of that for a project at work that needed *nix like stuff for windows.
Probably too hard to fix
SFU was an acquisition that Microsoft didn't really want to support but threw out as lipservice to cross compatibility. They didn't want people to use it unless they had to and they certainly didn't want people being comfortable with it if they did.
Thus it felt cobbled together, retrograde, bloaty and everything else. I think the only thing most people used it for was as a NFS client which is something Cygwin doesn't do although it can be an NFS server.
How to make Azure more appealing to developers