Microsoft Takes U-Turn and Joins Linux Foundation

BENGALURU: The decision by Microsoft to engage with The Linux Foundation has taken everyone by surprise and raised a few eyebrows. The collaboration was made official at the Microsoft Connect Developer conference in New York. This partnership with Linux marks a paradigm shift in the policies of Microsoft, which is better known for proprietary software. Things seem to be changing under Satya Nadella and this has been happening for quite some time.

According to The Linux Foundation, “Microsoft has gradually but steadily increased its engagement in open source projects and that’s a good sign for everyone.”

“We are a cloud platform company and our aim is to help developers achieve the optimum using the platforms and languages they know,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, as reported by The Indian Express.

“Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open source technology,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation. “The company has become a buoyant supporter of open source and is playing an active role in many important projects,” he added.

Microsoft has come to the fore in supporting various projects such as Node.js Foundation, Open Container Initiative, OpenDaylight and Open API Initiative. However, According to the Verge, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was totally against Linux in the past and had even compared Linux to cancer. But the times have changed and so has Microsoft’s view about Linux.

In 2001 Ballmer had said in an interview, “Linux is just like cancer that clings on to every opportunity to attach itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” But now things seem to have changed and the threat of Linux seems nowhere as pertinent for Microsoft as it was before.

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