As part of its effort to work more closely with the open source community, Microsoft on Wednesday announced it has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member. The foundation has three types of membership, with platinum being the highest, followed by gold and silver. As a platinum member, Microsoft will be donating a minimum of $500,000 annually for the development of the open source and other open source projects. Microsoft’s membership in the Linux Foundation will benefit customers through increased collaboration and innovation among a diverse ecosystem.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was dead against the open source community especially Linux. “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” he said in 2001.
Microsoft has become an active member of the open source community in part through the popularity of its open source and cross-platform application framework .NET Core. Wednesday’s addition of Google to the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group further reinforces the vibrancy of the .NET developer community as well as Google’s commitment to fostering an open platform that supports businesses and developers who have standardized on .NET.
“By becoming a Linux Foundation Platinum member, Microsoft is better able to collaborate with the open source community to deliver transformative mobile and cloud experiences to more people,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Microsoft has been a key contributor to many projects, and we see the company intensifying its involvement and commitment to open development.”
Other industry leaders are also betting on .NET Core for their own commercial products. On Wednesday Samsung is releasing a preview of its Visual Studio Tools for Tizen. Developers can use the tools to build .NET apps for the Tizen operating system that runs on millions of Samsung TVs, wearables, mobile devices and many IoT devices around the world.
Microsoft also joined the Eclipse Foundation earlier this year.
With the release of the pubic beta for SQL Server on Linux, anyone will be able to take the relational database software for a spin on a Linux machine, though they shouldn’t expect the full set of features available on Windows to make their way over to Linux just yet.
Microsoft has planned to make SQL Server on Linux available in the middle of next year, and Wednesday’s launch is an important step along that path.