The recent announcement that Hyper-V Quick Create now features Ubuntu served as a reminder of something I originally regarded with cautious amusement, but has now subsisted for long enough I can actually accept it. Microsoft is no longer the “evil empire” it once was.
In No Particular Order
C# and Windows 2k/7 were the proverbial “foot in the door”. The former being (imho) the managed language/runtime that Java should have been, the latter being (again, imho) the first OS from Redmond that was difficult to really complain about as an end-user.
The Microsoft acquisition of Xamarin was interesting. Other than becoming a first-class component of Visual Studio doesn’t seem like much has come out of this, however.
“Express” editions of Visual Studio have existed for a long time, but Visual Studio Community felt like the first that was a real product that could be used by professionals.
Orleans is probably of limited use to the majority of people, but it’s an interesting contribution in the area of distributed systems.
When Windows Subsystem for Linux was announced it might as well have been hell freezing over. Ok, I haven’t actually used it for anything and as far as I can tell it’s comparable to either cygwin or msys, but still…
After using Emacs for 3 years and then Vim for almost 15 as my general-purpose text editor of choice, Visual Studio Code has handedly brushed them aside.
.Net Core seems to have really lit the fire under C#. My love for it and .Net Standard can scarcely be contained.
Just the other day I found out PowerShell is multi-platform. Its remoting functionality was convoluted/clumsy compared to ssh the last time I looked at it (2015), but I have long lusted after its commandline argument auto-completion. And, if Windows is a necessity in your world, a first-class replacement for cmd.exe was sorely needed.
On that note, OpenSSH is an optional Windows component.
Honorable mention goes to Azure. Never used it, but have heard generally good things. And let’s be honest, Amazon/AWS need the competition.
Just the latest chapter in the “embrace, extend, extinguish” saga? Perhaps.