It’s been a strange old year, and it’s a testament to just how strange that this headline doesn’t seem too out of place anymore. Microsoft – once the poster company for closed software – has joined The Linux Foundation as a platinum member.
What was unthinkable just a few short years ago makes much more sense if you track the company’s recent conversion towards elements of open source. .NET Core 1 was made openly available; the company partnered with Canonical to build Ubuntu into Windows 10; and it worked with FreeBSD to release an image for Azure. When Microsoft acquired Xamarin, they open-sourced the company’s software-development kit, and they seem to have a good working relationship with the likes of Red Hat and SUSE.
In short, Microsoft’s attitudes have been changing for some time, and in joining The Linux Foundation as a platinum member (something that costs around $US500,000), it’s joining companies such as IBM, Fujitsu, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Oracle, Facebook and Cisco.