The billion-dollar startup revolutionized the software container industry, providing tools that let developers write code once and run it on any server. As a result, companies have been jumping to support the synonymous service, and Microsoft has now taken that one step further.
Docker is coming to Windows Server 2016 customers free of charge. The commercial engine comes bundled with every copy of the OS.
Benefits for Both Companies
The new partnership will bring huge benefits to both companies. Docker is open-source and, as a result, it's difficult for the company to make a huge profit.
The primary way Docker makes money is through sales of its CS Docker Engine. The paid tool lets customers manage containers, and also comes with support plans. This Engine will now be in the hands of millions of customers, and could mean a lot of growth for the company.
Microsoft will be the one to provide support for Engine, taking some of the running costs away from Docker. It will also suggest the Docker Datacenter to its customers, bringing more growth in that region too.
Furthermore, the Redmond giant has provided it's Windows Server container base apps to Docker Hub, providing a solid base for app development.
Of course, the deal comes with advantages for Microsoft too. It makes their package far more attractive to the many Enterprises that are looking to implement the containers.
Part of what makes it attractive is Microsoft's integration of Visual Studio Tool. It will result in a familiar workflow and interface that will make using Docker more intuitive than ever. This makes Windows Server feel like a natural option, and could put Microsoft ahead of the competition.
Release and Future Partnerships
Windows Server 2016 will ship with Docker Engine straight out of the box on its release in October. However, according to Docker COO Scott Johnston, there's still more to come.
“While the announcements today represent another significant milestone in our partnership,” he said, “Docker and Microsoft are just getting started.”
What exactly he means by that cryptic message remains to be seen, but we'll keep you updated as more information arises.