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Jimmy Briggs
Jimmy Briggs

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Developing on Windows

Introduction

Being a Microsoft Windows advocate throughout the entirety of my software/web development career, I thought I would share some of the best resources related to developing and software engineering within the realm of the Windows Operating System (specifically Windows 10 and 11) as well as take the reader on a journey through some of the latest changes Microsoft has made in support of development, not just on Windows, but for all of technology in general.

Prelude

In the past, developing on Windows was considered to be an annoyance due to its lack of UNIX like shell support and the many complications that come with some of the OS's more questionable design patterns (i.e. the Registry, Dynamic Link Libraries, etc.) along with the idea that Windows is more of a closed source, enterprise/corporate operating system which requires lots of hardware resources and goes against the FOSS principles.

A Shift for the Better

However, a lot has changed in the recent years, and it is changing rapidly. After the acquisition of GitHub, the world's largest open source code repository hosting domain, Microsoft began its transformation into one of the most developer-friendly operating system options available today.

Here are some examples of the changes Microsoft has made to Windows in support of development, specifically, outside the realm of .NET and Visual Studio Windows-Specific developers:

not to mention, Visual Studio Code, the world's most popular IDE/editor, free versions of SQL Server, massive enhancements to Azure (specifically in the realm of microservices and distributed computing) and the Microsoft Store's official support for free and open source software.

Just visit the Windows Dev Center's Developer Tools Page, or better yet the documentation for Setting up a Development Environment on Windows and see for yourself!

P.S. The Microsoft Docs are also open source and anyone can contribute through GitHub. Not to mention they are an amazing learning resource for anyone, regardless of what OS they use.

A Call to the Community

What are your thoughts on developing on Windows in this day and age?

To me the "closed source enterprise OS" of the past has moved to Apple as they do not share nor contribute any collaborative efforts with the other large tech vendors (unlike Google, Intel, and Microsoft).

For me the largest game-changer by far was the release of WSL2 with a real, Linux kernel operating alongside your Windows operating system.

Thanks for reading more to come!

Top comments (1)

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CoSciBlog

I like Linux, but i prefer to use Windows for developing since WSL/WSL2.
I often have to use Microsoft Apps for work like Office, Teams, Onedrive or test other Programms for colleagues, so i cannot really work with Linux or have to dualboot.
I also like nice to haves in Windows like Wireless Display, to connect to TVs, Beamers and stuff without the need for cables.

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