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Build 2016: Windows 10 Sets Record, Lumia Suffers Setback And More

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Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 10 has over 270 million active users, just eight months after it was launched.

This information was announced on Wednesday by chief executive Terry Myerson at Microsoft’s annual gathering for developers in San Francisco, which the company calls Build.

One reason for the development is that the Windows 10, which was rolled out in July 2015 is free for individual consumers who downloaded it during its first year. However, Enterprise customers must pay before download.

However, there was bad news for the Lumia mobile devices, as the phones were not on the company’s radar. The question, of course, is whether it will ever be again.

In an interview with The Verge, Myerson said: “We’re going to do some cool things with phones, but this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear,” Phones, he added, “is the wrong place for us to lead.”

A major challenge faced by Microsoft is that the range of apps that work on Windows mobile devices lags behind those on Android and iOS, making them less attractive to buyers, and in-turn developers become less motivated to make apps for Windows devices.

An anniversary upgrade to be released this summer will also be free for users already running Windows 10, Myerson said.

On the bright side for developers, Microsoft announced it is set to bring the GNU project’s Bash shell to Windows. Meaning that, developers will now be able to write their .sh Bash scripts on Windows, as well (or use Emacs to edit their code).

The company noted that this will work through a new Linux subsystem in Windows 10 that Microsoft worked on with Canonical. The default terminal for developers on Windows is Microsoft’s Powershell.

Bash (Bourne Again Shell) has long been a standard on OS X and many Linux distribution systems.

“The native availability of a full Ubuntu environment on Windows, without virtualization or emulation, is a milestone that defies convention and a gateway to fascinatingly unfamiliar territory,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a statement.

“In our journey to bring free software to the widest possible audience, this is not a moment we could have predicted. Nevertheless we are delighted to stand behind Ubuntu for Windows, committed to addressing the needs of Windows developers exploring Linux in this amazing new way, and excited at the possibilities heralded by this unexpected turn of events,” he added.

Microsoft also gave an update on its HoloLens augmented-reality technology, which began shipping to developers on Wednesday.

Getting its strategy right is a key part of Microsoft’s plans to stay relevant in a world where rivals like Amazon, Apple and Google carry more clout with many consumers and developers.