Microsoft has done the unthinkable by joining the Linux Foundation as a new platinum member. The company’s entire business model has long been the exact opposite of what Linux has been trying to achieve; with former CEO Steve Ballmer once calling the open source project “cancer”.
All that seems to be in the past now, with Microsoft openly embracing Linux – and open source – development under current boss Satya Nadella. In fact, Redmond has been one of the top contributors on GitHub for the last several years. This even includes adopting community feedback and solutions; which is something that would have been extremely unusual in the past.
“By becoming a Linux Foundation Platinum member, Microsoft is better able to collaborate with the open source community to deliver transformative mobile and cloud experiences to more people,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Microsoft has been a key contributor to many projects, and we see the company intensifying its involvement and commitment to open development.”
In another twist to the story, Microsoft also welcomed Google to the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group. Google has traditionally distanced itself from the .NET framework, as it focuses on rival Java development for the Android platform. However, it looks like the company has come to realise that .NET has become increasingly important.
Similarly, Samsung has announced that it will be releasing a preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen. It looks like the South Korean company is ramping up focus on its own mobile operating system. Especially since it has also introduce a new incentive programme for Tizen developers starting next year.
Companies moving to support more platforms and open source development can only be a good thing. There might be some cynicism with Microsoft’s move to support Linux, but the company has shown that it is willing to cater to competing platforms to expand its reach.