Microsoft on Wednesday joined the Linux Foundation, which is a non-profit technology trade association that promotes, protect and helps to advance the open-source Linux operating system. “Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open-source technology,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said in the announcement.
The Windows developer, which has been known for proprietary software, joined as a platinum member. “From cloud computing and networking to gaming, Microsoft has steadily increased its engagement in open-source projects and communities,” the foundation said.
The Satya Nadella-led Silicon Valley giant already contributes to a number of projects handled by the tech association. “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,” Zemlin added.
Executive Vice President of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group Scott Guthrie said the company aimed to “help developers achieve more using the platforms and languages they know”. “We are excited to join the Linux Foundation and partner with the community to help developers capitalise on the shift to intelligent cloud and mobile experiences,” he added.
The announcement will surprise many, considering the popular belief of rivalry between Microsoft and the Linux community. “There will be some skepticism, but that will be from a smaller group,” Zemlin told TechCrunch.
Other platinum members of the Linux Foundation include Samsung, Cisco, Oracle, IBM, Intel, Huawei and Fujitsu. They pay around $500,000 for the membership. Facebook and Google are among other Gold members.