Microsoft made a surprise announcement during its Connect(); developer conference last night, on top of the news that it would be launching Visual Studio for Apple's macOS: It has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member.
With Steve Ballmer, who famously described Linux as 'a cancer' back in 2001, replaced at the helm by Satya Nadella, the company has been steadily increasing its commitment to supporting third-party operating systems. As well as porting some of its most popular server-side products to Linux, including Microsoft SQL Server and the PowerShell scripting language, the company has been making direct source code contributions - and now it's officially a Linux Foundation Platinum Member.
'We want to help developers achieve more and capitalise on the industry's shift toward cloud-first and mobile-first experiences using the tools and platforms of their choice,' claimed Microsoft's Scott Guthrie at the event. 'By collaborating with the community to provide open, flexible and intelligent tools and cloud services, we're helping every developer deliver unprecedented levels of innovation.'
'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,' added Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, from the stage at Microsoft's event. 'Microsoft has been a key contributor to many projects, and we see the company intensifying its involvement and commitment to open development.'
Microsoft's membership requires the company pays $500,000 per year to the Linux Foundation, which is used to fund the group's advocacy and development work.