There may never be a "Year of the Linux desktop" per se, but Linux on Windows, via the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), is certainly gaining popularity. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, has just announced it will help sponsor WSLConf, the first WSL-specific conference.
Hayden Barnes, the founder of Whitewater Foundry, a startup focusing on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and sponsor of Pengwin, Whitewater's Linux for Windows, started the conference. WSLconf will be held from March 10 to March 11, 2020, at Building 20 on the Microsoft HQ campus in Redmond, Wash.
Canonical, which recently revealed it's making WSL a priority for Ubuntu, stated it would be a featured sponsor of WSLConf. Besides Canonical, Microsoft, and Whitewater Foundry, speakers from Docker, Kali Linux, Rancher Labs, and wslutilities will also appear at the conference.
WSL is meant primarily for developers and system administrators, not ordinary end-users. For example, at the conference, there will be talks on building Kubernetes on WSL; demos of WSL integration with the Visual Studio and JetBrains IDEs; and WSL for long-time Unix/Linux system administrators.
At the same time, Microsoft is also extending its office programs to the traditional Linux desktop. For the first time, an MS-Office program, Microsoft Teams, will be available to run natively on Linux.
At one time, the idea that the Windows and Linux desktops would cross-pollinate with each other would be dismissed as downright silly. That was then. This is now. The two rival desktops are integrating. Who would have guessed?