Microsoft's annual Connect() developer conference is officially underway in New York City. At the event, Microsoft announced it has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member and that Google has joined the independent .NET community. The announcements mark another one of Microsoft's significant steps towards the goal of empowering the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use.
Since Microsoft is a Platinum Member of the Linux Foundation, Microsoft's customers will now benefit from increased collaboration and innovation among a diverse ecosystem. Microsoft has already contributed to several Linux Foundation projects, including Node.js Foundation, OpenDaylight, Open Container Initiative, R Consortium and Open API Initiative. According to VentureBeat, the Platinum level membership is the highest level, and will cost the company $500,000 annually.
John Gossman, an architect on the Microsoft Azure team, will sit on the Linux Foundations Board of Directors and help underwrite projects on behalf of Microsoft. In a statement, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie reflected on Microsoft joining the Linux Foundation:
“The Linux Foundation is home not only to Linux, but many of the community’s most innovative open source projects. We are excited to join The Linux Foundation and partner with the community to help developers capitalize on the shift to intelligent cloud and mobile experiences... We want to help developers achieve more and capitalize on the industry’s shift toward cloud-first and mobile-first experiences using the tools and platforms of their choice...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.”
Similarly, Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of The Linux Foundation also reflected on Microsoft joining the Linux Foundation:
Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open source technology... The company has become an enthusiastic supporter of Linux and of open source and a very active member of many important projects. 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
In other Connect() news, Microsoft also announced that the addition of Google to the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group. According to Microsoft, this "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."
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has increased its interests in open source projects and communities. Microsoft currently has many open source projects on GitHub, and even released the open source .NET Core 1.0; partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10; and after acquiring Xamarin, open sourced its software development kit.