In a surprising move, Microsoft has announced that it will be joining the Linux Foundation in the form of a high-paying Platinum member. Microsoft has always been at loggerheads with the Linux and Linux has been the preferred choice for the developer community owing to its open source nature. Linux Foundation executive said that Microsoft has been one of the biggest open source contributors and has built Ubuntu distribution into Windows 10, introduced SQL server to Linux and has also open sourced core parts of its .NET platform. He further added that Microsoft has contributed to a handful of Linux Foundation-managed projects including Node.js, OpenDaylight, the R Consortium and the Open API initiative.
Despite the assurances, the move will come as a surprise to many since Linux and Microsoft have not been moving parallelly. In fact, the Linux users criticized Microsoft for not being open source enough while Microsoft took potshots as well. Moving on, Kremlin says that the initial skepticism is the part and parcel of such announcement and added that Microsoft has been contemplating the open source idea from very long time.
The Linux Foundation Platinum members are required to pay $500,000 and the list of members include Cisco, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, Samsung, Google Facebook and many others. As part of the Microsoft-Linux collaboration John Gossman from the Azure team will join the Linux Foundation Board. The Linux Foundation Board is a non-profit technology trade association which works to promote, protect and also advance Linux and collaborative development. Ironically, exactly 15-years ago the then Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer had termed Linux as cancer.
Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches
Well, the news of Microsoft joining Linux foundation has coincided with Google joining Microsoft’s .NET Foundation Technical Steering. All of these foundations are vendor neutral and help the partners to outpace the competitors on other platforms.