In a rather surprising turn of events, Microsoft becomes a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation and joins the later in advancing the nonprofit open source management. The announcement took place at the “Connect();“ event in New York on November 16th.
Ever since 15 years ago, Microsoft has been gradually warming up to the Linux Foundation. Now, Microsoft embraces both Linux software, as well as the community at large. And all this in the name of collaboration and efficient problem solving.
“As a cloud platform company, we aim to help developers achieve more using the platforms and languages they know”, says the Executive Vice President of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, Scott Guthrie.
Hence, the joining forces will make working on nonprofit open source projects easier for the users. Even more so, since the Linux Foundation is home to the most innovative open source projects. “We are excited to join The Linux Foundation and partner with the community”, Guthrie adds. The Executive Vice President aims to help developers capitalize on the shift to intelligent cloud and mobile experiences.
Nowadays, Microsoft is an enthusiastic supporter of Linux and an active member in many open source projects. The company also contributes to several Linux Foundation projects. The list includes OpenDaylight, Node.js Foundation, R Consortium, Open Container Initiative, and Open API Initiative.
The Executive Director of The Linux Foundation also gives his blessings and expresses enthusiasm towards the partnership. “Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contribution to open source technology”, says Jim Zemlin.
No matter how much enticing the Microsoft-Linux alliance presents itself, things were not always this sweet. The former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer was notoriously anti-Linux and open source projects throughout the entire extent of his career. Back in 2001, he called Linux a “cancer” that attaches itself to everything it touches in a Chicago Sun-Times interview.
Not only was he against open source projects, but went to great lengths to prove that open source software made everything worse.
However, things change. Microsoft showed its good will by sponsoring multiple Linux events, such as Linuxcon. Publicly announcing the partnership only makes things official. Also, Linux takes great pride in its Platinum Member ally. To keep its place in the most privileged membership categories, Microsoft donates a minimum of $500,000 every year. The money goes to open source projects in hopes of advancing and further developing the many tasks at hand.
Despite the bad start, both Microsoft, as well as The Linux Foundation, sealed the deal in hopes of great collaboration and advancement of the open source projects.
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