Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member

Linux and Microsoft were, for years, fully at odds with each other. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer considered Linux a bigger threat to Microsoft than Apple, and fans of one have often not been fans of the other. That's changed in recent years, as Microsoft has taken a bigger role in the Open Source Software community and in contributions to the Linux ecosystem and community. Now the company is making its commitment to Linux and open source official by joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member.

The Linux Foundation outlined some of Microsoft's big contributions in a press release. In the past few years, Microsoft has opened up core parts of .NET, brought Canonical's Ubuntu to Windows 10, and partnered with organizations like Red Hat and SUSE. The company also contributes to open source projects like Node.js and the Open API initiative.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin describes Microsoft's past relationship with Linux, saying "they weren't big fans." He acknowledges, too, that membership from a company like Microsoft is going to bring out skeptics. "There is an anti-establishment sentiment in open source. That's natural," he says.

While many PC users still hold a pretty negative view of the company, Zemlin insists the company has evolved. "Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open source technology," Zemlin writes in a prepared statement. "The company has become an enthusiastic supporter of Linux and of open source and a very active member of many important projects. Membership is an important step for Microsoft, but also for the open source community at large, which stands to benefit from the company’s expanding range of contributions."

As a platinum-level member—a seat that costs $500,000—Microsoft sits alongside companies like IBM, Samsung, Cisco, and Intel. Microsoft's John Gossman, an architect on its Azure team, will take a seat on the Linux Foundation board of directors.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    thats like Trump joining the democratic party.

    • Shinare
    • 3 years ago

    Google joins .NET, Microsoft Joins Linux, Dogs and cats living together… MASS HYSTERIA!!!!!

    • just brew it!
    • 3 years ago

    Wow, first Donald Trump gets elected President, and now Microsoft has a seat on the board of the Linux Foundation. I feel like I have gone through an inter-dimensional warp and appeared in some sort of bizarro parallel universe where the normal rules don’t apply. What next? AMD Zen kicking Intel’s butt?

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      Maybe I made my prediction about Zen too soon.
      Maybe the “experts” were wrong….

      Maybe just maybe Zen will… [i<][u<][b<]MAKE AMD GREAT AGAIN!!![/i<][/u<][/b<]

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        AMD is ALREADY great.

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          No, those are frosted flakes.

          They’re Grrrrrrrrreat!

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      2016 will forever be remembered as the year of wtf.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Don’t forget how SSK won a keyboard with no Caps Lock key. That was pretty shocking too.

      The world sure is going bonkers.

    • shank15217
    • 3 years ago

    Next thing you hear, Microsoft introduces DX13 to Linux in native code.

    • Wonders
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]an anti-establishment sentiment in open source[/quote<] That's one way to put it. But one is tempted to more precisely characterize this sentiment as antidisestablishmentarianist.

      • willmore
      • 3 years ago

      Careful, words like that could cause a civil war.

    • willmore
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]"There is an anti-establishment sentiment in open source. That's natural," he says.[/quote<] That's a pretty self serving statement. More accurate to say "Some people don't like how we've abused our market lead. That's natural."

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    As a guy at work said, it’s interesting to see MS transitioning from a business that sells OS licenses to one that provides services and tools.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      Their plan is to .NET Core all the things.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 3 years ago

      “The Cloud”

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      Every commercial software vendor has been moving in this direction since broadband internet connectivity has become commonplace.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Crazy idea : a Microsoft Linux fork a few years down the road.

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      That’s not entirely crazy. Anyway, I prefer foolish over crazy: Windows 10 moving to a linux kernel.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        It kinda feels like they’re moving that direction. Get the high-level stuff (like .NET class library) working on other platforms so that your desktop apps are portable, and then dump a bunch of the R&D associated with the kernel and just go all-out in Linux.

          • CuttinHobo
          • 3 years ago

          It makes sense, as unlikely as it seems. Microsoft is about the only one reinventing the wheel while everyone else uses the linux kernel.

          Windows 10’s new Bash shell is like dipping a toe in the water, and I could see them using a similar subsystem for handling legacy Windows compatibility. That or Hyper-V. They definitely have all the tools they’d need to make it work in ways WINE never could.

      • ugotta
      • 3 years ago

      MicroLinux 2000… may not be public, but, its not new to them.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t think Microsoft is interested in Linux for the PC/desktop markets. They want to put the hurt on Larry Ellison’s Oracle.

      • 223 Fan
      • 3 years ago

      TBH this is a worthy goal in and of itself.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      Exactly. Why else would they be releasing MS SQL Server on Linux?

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        Because there are plenty of people for whom Linux is more important than SQL Server.

        Also, I wonder if it will appear on “database as a service” Cloud stuff like Amazon RDS. We run a mix of SQL Server, Postgres and MySQL on RDS at work, and in that environment each database engine must compete on features, performance, cost and reliability. We don’t get access to the underlying server.

        The Cloud marches on.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Praise the Satya.

    I wonder if a Microsoft skinned, Microsoft Service’ed Android phone could even happen, now that they’ve all but given up on Windows Phone…With the Surface design language, I’d be into that.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      Microsoft rakes in a pretty tidy sum in licensing revenue from Android as it is right now. They might not have an actual successful product in mobile, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make money from mobile.

      • NTMBK
      • 3 years ago

      You need the Google App Store and Google Services to get most Android apps.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 3 years ago

        Amazon underground keeps getting bigger.

      • drfish
      • 3 years ago

      Apps are a problem, but the OS is ready and it gets update like desktops Windows. I think that if there’s a Surface phone, it’ll run Win10 – BUT – the exact same physical phone could also run Android, so who knows…

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 years ago

      That may happen if Android gets .Net support.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Xamarin is close enough. Code in C# and use their forms with .NET core and build for both Android and iOS in one go.

      • Wirko
      • 3 years ago

      You’re one of the chosen ones who understand that language?

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Meaning? I thought the Surfaces industrial design language was pretty widely liked?

    • adisor19
    • 3 years ago

    It’s suddenly very very cold in hell.

    Adi

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      How’d you know?

        • willmore
        • 3 years ago

        He’s an Apple fan boy, he lives there.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      It is rather warm actually.

      Microsoft has seen the writing on the wall. The traditional commercial market model has been dying. SaaS is the future of commercial software whatever you like it or not.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    For some reason I think Microsoft’s role on the board is going to be like Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy.

      • alloyD
      • 3 years ago

      I see them more as Burt Reynolds.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Don’t you mean….. Turd Ferguson?

          • alloyD
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, heh, it’s a funny name.

      • Wonders
      • 3 years ago

      Well, the pen [b<]is[/b<] mightier...

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