The Year of Linux on the Desktop became a running joke about a decade ago in the tech community, but now it might finally happen, thanks to some help from an unlikely source: Microsoft.

 Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports that at Build, Microsoft and Ubuntu will announce a partnership to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10, not just as a virtual machine but actually integrated into Windows 10's Linux subsystems. It's likely to be a fan for web developers used to the full Linux shell but who want to have access to everything .NET offers.

As Vaughan-Nichols reports:

It also seems unlikely that Ubuntu will be bringing its Unity interface with it. Instead the focus will be on Bash and other CLI tools, such as make, gawk and grep.

Could you run a Linux desktop such as Unity, GNOME, or KDE on it? Probably, but that's not the purpose of this partnership.

Canonical and Microsoft are doing this because Ubuntu on Windows' target audience is developers, not desktop users. In particular, as Microsoft and Canonical continue to work more closely together on cloud projects, I expect to find tools that will make it easy for programmers to use Ubuntu to write programs for Ubuntu on the Azure cloud.

We won't have to wait much longer to learn details: Build kicks off today, and you can livestream it right from IT Pro and catch up with Rich Hay's behind-the-scenes reports.