Microsoft Remains a Top Linux Contributor
The Linux Foundation is out with its latest roundup of the top contributors to the Linux kernel, and Microsoft once again makes the list. You can find the list of top contributors here. Microsoft has made these lists before, but some open source purists may be surprised to see the company as a top contributor. Years ago, when Microsoft officials labeled open source "a cancer," the company's steadfast focus on proprietary software strategies was well-known, but Microsoft has steadily sought to have its tools and platforms--especially its own server and virtualization platforms--work seamlessly with Linux. That's a necessity for the company.
As Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols points out:
"Microsoft wants both Linux to run Server 2008 R2 instances and for Windows 2008 R2 to run Linux instances using its own virtualization tools. Microsoft has been working on this for some time with Novell, now SUSE. The results, according to Microsoft sources, have been outstanding."
Microsoft appears at number 17 on The Linux Foundation's list of top contributors to Linux code, and it won't be a surprise to see the company stay on the list. In IT departments, managers want to run heterogenous and virtualized environments, taking advantage of multiple operating systems. They don't want to be boxed in to using, say, just Windows Server. Specifically, many of them want to run Linux alongside Windows Server, and that means that the Linux kernel and Windows Server need to be able to play together nicely.
Meanwhile, Linux is having increasing success at the server level and in virtualized environments. Look for Microsoft and Linux to continue to play nicely in the sandbox.