No Kidding! Microsoft Has Joined The Linux Foundation

Microsoft joins Linux Foundation

No, this is not my annual April Fool joke. The ‘arch enemy’ of Linux, Microsoft has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member in an attempt to “better collaborate with the open source community”. The announcement was made at the ongoing Connect Event.

Times flies. Linux is 25 years old now. In the early 2000’s, when a teenaged Linux was gaining popularity, the then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux cancer.

Fast forward 13 years and the new CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella started showing feelings for Linux and Open Source. It open sourced .NET, openly proclaimed that Microsoft loves Linux and since then has open sourced a number of its products. It is also the biggest contributor to Open Source projects on GitHub.

Microsoft also started bringing its Windows only products to Linux. Visual Studio Code was just the beginning. SQL Server on Linux is a reality now as the beta version for Linux is out today.

In addition to all this, Microsoft has also got a (sort of) Linux OS of its own.

As many have observed, all these efforts are done for the sake of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. And it has actually shown results. 1 out of 3 servers running on Azure are Linux servers.

Executive director of the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin told ZDNet about his thoughts on Microsoft joining Linux Foundation:

“Our philosophy is that open source should be a big tent where anyone can contribute.

There was a time where proprietary versus open source was a winner-take-all proposition, but that’s in the past. Open source is now a major force in software development, and the industry realizes you can make yourself better, while also making others better at the same time. Microsoft has been embracing open source increasingly for the better part of a decade, including contributing to and supporting many Linux Foundation projects, so their decision to take the next step and become a Linux Foundation member didn’t come as a surprise to us.

Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open-source technology. 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.”

What’s your take on Microsoft joining Linux Foundation? Will it benefit Linux and Open Source in long run or it will be used by Microsoft for its own benefits. Do share your views.

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  • Platinum member or not, Linux itself (the kernel) cannot be purchased at any price. The ONLY reason why Microsoft is suddenly ‘loving’ Linux is their Azure clients. As of 2-3 years back, around the time Steve Ballmer ‘retired’, 30% of their clients were running Linux.

    That percentage has to be higher by now w/out Ballmer in charge, whom thought Linux to be a cancer. While I don’t agree with that view, at least we knew where Ballmer stood. With Satya Nadella, Microsoft customers has no idea of what they’re getting & why Windows user share has dropped below the magical number of 90%. That never happened when Ballmer was in charge, Nadella has made a holy mess out of the corporation.

    Another thing to consider, Windows 10 in NOT a ‘forver’ OS, just as previous versions, has an EOL date. Mainstream support ends on 10/13/2020 & EOL is 10/14/2025.

    So Nadella has been lying all along, the first one prior to the W10 release, promising everyone ‘lifetime support for the device’, which was watered down to 2 years for Home users & 4 years for Pro.

    These things stated, how can we believe that Microsoft can be of any benefit to Linux users? Note that since Nadella is the face of Microsoft, being wishy-washy, what can he do for us? Nothing. Should Microsoft acquire Canonical, Ubuntu will be forked in seconds, while Microsoft can claim title to the Ubuntu name, they can’t the kernel. It will be forked by a major group & redistributed better then ever, (hopefully) with a mind set on true freedom & humanity for all.

    Mark Shuttleworth used the term ‘humanity’ to build Ubuntu to what it is today, then a few years ago, took away some of the freebies from those who needed the apps the most. That’s not one showcasing the term humanity in the least.

    At any rate, this won’t mean anything to many, unless one purchases a NVIDIA 10 series GPU, then with the driver package, ‘node.js’ from the Linux Foundation is bundled in w/out a way to opt out, other than to uninstall with every driver that updated. Even worse, that version of node.js isn’t the latest, it’s like running an outdated Java or Flash Player. Affected Windows users should install Secunia PSI & find out.


  • I wonder what comes next? Linux-based Windows or Windows-based Linux?!
    I only use Windows to run games that don’t have native version for Linux and are not working with WINE. For everything else: i prefer to use Linux. Even if my surrounding thing Linux is a piece of shit and Windows is the only good OS.