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05.07.20

Microsoft’s WSL Program Manager Admits WSL Adoption Level Has Been Absurdly Low

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s fake ‘Linux’ (actually it is Windows with new clothing) is a laughable failure that cost Microsoft a lot of money and the target audience broadly rejects after nearly half a decade

WSL, WSL2; Number of users: unknown, ~150k

Summary: All those evasive responses from Microsoft employees make more sense now that someone with the insiders’ insight spills the beans; the person recently revealed just how appalling adoption had been; Microsoft is unable (or unwilling) to even refute

THE Microsoft folks will need to give some answers. We, together with former Microsoft staff who know Microsoft is hiding an embarrassment, have made inquiries and are patiently waiting; hours later and still no reply (although they very well know the answer, can give it offhand).

Sure, we welcome a belated response (or refutation) but strongly doubt any is actually on the way because it happened several times before. Empty promises that they would divulge some numbers — promises they keep breaking.

“The Microsoft folks will need to give some answers.”“I don’t expect a reply,” I told a former Microsoft employee, who keeps pressing Microsoft itself to admit that WSL and WSL2 have been utter failure.

A lack of reply too is newsworthy too, of course; they’re brag like nobody’s business if the numbers were high!

Let’s give it a day, I thought…

Well, a day or so has passed and Microsoft’s WSL Program Manager is giving a non-denying ‘denial’. “Dude seems bitter,” one reader told us. “IMO, the tone of his response, deflection, and ad hominem leads me to believe that your information is accurate.”

In other words, only about 150 thousand people actually use this thing. It’s ridiculously low, not only by Microsoft’s standards. They’ve already thrown millions of dollars into this thing, including fake (astroturfed) media coverage.

We are still waiting for a reply — if any — from “Rich Tur-minal-ner-d,” the Program Manager (his Twitter profile says “Sr. PM @ Microsoft. Modernizing the Windows Command-Line via Terminal & WSL, and improving the Windows Developer Platform” and he openly defends Microsoft’s patent blackmail, so you know how much he “loves” Linux).

“…only about 150 thousand people actually use this thing.”WSL has been almost exclusively promoted by Microsoft boosters or 'assets' embedded in the media (no need to name them again; we've known them for over a decade). They’ve done this for years.

“Sorry,” he said, “we don’t comment on unsubstantiated rumors nor absurd numbers…”

Those are not rumors. The source is reliable.

When pressed for actual numbers he then responded with: “Let me check.”

He said that last year as well. And he never got back to us.

“Check if it’s OK to say it’s more or less correct?”

That was my reply to him. He’s probably checking with Microsoft’s executive level how to spin their way out of this one…

And we agree it’s an absurd number. Absurdly low. And true…

“And why does Canonical help Microsoft promote this thing? How much has Microsoft paid Canonical to do this?”We think it’s safe for GNU/Linux news sites to just ignore WSL ‘news’. Scare quotes are fitting because it’s just PR, powered by embedded ‘stunts’… including misleading headlines. It’s the only kind of news that says “Linux” and we won’t post in Daily Links. Because it’s not about Linux, it is about Vista 10. They hijack the Linux brand to promote their malware, which includes keylogging.

WSL is a dead end; It’s a dying niche effort by Microsoft to hijack GNU/Linux the EEE way…

People can easily install, free of charge, proper GNU/Linux or even run it in something like VirtualBox. WSL (and WSL2) is obsolete, mimicking something like Cygwin from 2 decades ago. Who on Earth thought geeks would adopt such trash? Maybe the real goal was just to googlebomb “Linux” with Vista 10 “ads” (media space, or "mindshare" as Microsoft typically calls it). ZDNet and these Microsoft boosters currently googlebomb “Linux” with other Microsoft spam (Azure/Microsoft promotion) and this too we’ve omitted from Daily Links because it’s very clearly a PR stunt designed to distract from actual GNU/Linux news. They even got coverage in mainstream media that never mentions GNU/Linux at all. Microsoft has just got that media to play along. To them, it’s like GNU/Linux never exists at all except when Microsoft controls it and tells them to cover it. We’ve seen several more like this one; about half a dozen in total just yesterday (and it boils down to nothing but Microsoft offering some money… it’s only about money, not substance). “Slush funds” from a PR viewpoint.

About WSL, did Microsoft actually expect decent adoption? Who at Microsoft thought this was a good idea? And why does Canonical help Microsoft promote this thing? How much has Microsoft paid Canonical to do this?

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A Single Comment

  1. DannyB said,

    May 8, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Gravatar

    Here is why I believe that WSL even exists:
    1. Developer uses WSL because it is “convenient”. (addictively sweet, the first hit is free, etc)
    2. Come deployment time, the application doesn’t work on REAL Linux.
    3. Manager decides, if it runs on WSL, then let’s just deploy on WSL in production. Problem solved. Call it a day.
    4. Decision is made to permanently host the application on WSL, eg, Windows in Linux clothing.

    Is it any wonder that a savvy developer would avoid using WSL. I don’t want something to break on production that works in development and testing.

    In fact, if I’m developing FOR Linux, I’d rather develop ON Linux, including development tools.

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