Linux has historically been the operating system of choice for geeks rebelling against the vulnerabilities and annoyances of Microsoft. So, it is somewhat surprising that Microsoft President Brad Smith recently announced the release of a product that uses a Linux kernel developed by his company. Azure Sphere is the Linux-based operating system that was invented because Windows was too ungainly to be powered by microcontroller units (MCUs), tiny computers on an integrated circuit, and they’re now preferred to microprocessor units for powering appliances, toys, and other smart gadgets in the Internet of Things. MCUs, incidentally, are also an easy target for hacking. To mitigate these concerns, the product will be connected to the highly-secure Microsoft Azure cloud. The cloud connection will enable gadgets to receive security updates for ten years or more. To interest developers in converting to Azure Sphere, Microsoft will at first license the chips for free.