Microsoft joins Linux Foundation in another nod to open-source code

November 22, 2016 by Matt Day, The Seattle Times

Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation, the latest sign that the software giant is embracing open-source technologies it formerly treated with hostility.

The foundation helps advise the development of the Linux and other tools built on open-source terms that allow the public to freely use and modify software. Microsoft last week said it had joined the foundation on its most expensive tier of corporate membership, alongside the likes of Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Linux, which former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer once called a cancer, was for years one of Microsoft's biggest rivals. The free-to-use operating system was seen for a time as the primary threat to expensive, proprietary Windows.

Windows won the battle for the personal computer but didn't fare so well in the broader debate about the value of open-source versus proprietary technology.

Linux-derived Android dominates the smartphone market, and open-source tools are a force in cloud-computing technologies. Many software startups favor by default.

Microsoft teams plugging away on developer tools and server software, realms heavily influenced by Linux, broke with the company line during the last several years in pushing greater involvement with the open-source community.

When Satya Nadella, previously Microsoft's server and tools chief, was named company chief executive in early 2014, the tone shifted companywide. Microsoft, Nadella said at an event in October 2014, loves Linux.

The company, headquartered outside Seattle, has since released elements of its own software under open-source terms and announced a version of its database management software, SQL Server, for Linux, among other steps.

GitHub, an online developer community and repository for software projects, said in September that there were more Microsoft employees contributing to than representatives of any other single .

Explore further: Microsoft is making .NET Core open source, cross-platform

Related Stories

Microsoft is making .NET Core open source, cross-platform

November 13, 2014

Most of you are old enough to remember when you would never use the word Linux in the same sentence as Microsoft without a middle word such as versus. How times have changed. Microsoft's announcement on Wednesday indicates ...

India State to Dump Windows for Linux

August 31, 2006

(AP) -- A southern Indian state plans to switch all school computers from Microsoft Windows to the free Linux operating system, an official said Thursday.

Microsoft's Patent Threats Evoke Retorts

May 18, 2007

Partly in response to Microsoft's recent patent threats to Linux and other open-source software, the FSF (Free Software Foundation) announced on May 16 the creation of a new activist campaigns team to organize public support ...

IBM to invest $1b in Linux, open-source

September 17, 2013

IBM said Tuesday it would invest $1 billion in new Linux and open source technologies for its servers in a bid to boost efficiency for big data and cloud computing.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.