Just three short years ago Microsoft formed a separate subsidiary to expand the role of open source technologies within the company. At the time Microsoft was much more closed off and was different than the Linux loving, open armed tech giant we know today. In an official blog post, the accomplishments of MS Open Tech are listed and their future is outlined.
The post by Jean Paoli summed up the changes:
The goal of the organization was to accelerate Microsoft’s open collaboration with the industry by delivering critical interoperable technologies in partnership with open source and open standards communities. Today, MS Open Tech has reached its key goals, and open source technologies and engineering practices are rapidly becoming mainstream across Microsoft. It’s now time for MS Open Tech to rejoin Microsoft Corp, and help the company take its next steps in deepening its engagement with open source and open standards.
To say that Microsoft has become more open source over the last three years would be an understatement. Having a completely subsidiary body is probably redundant now but at the time had a lot of work to do.
The blog post phrases this as a rejoining. That’s noteworthy phrasing because it indicates that staff and engineers are not leaving or being fired.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley also points out that a company spokesperson said “there was no cost-cutting or other fiscal matters behind the decision to dissolve the standalone Open Tech unit. Microsoft is not planning to lay off any of the employees who have been working in the Open Technologies subsidiary.”
The work of MS Open Tech connected many different technologies but some more notable ones listed in the post include bringing “Microsoft’s services and APIs to iOS and Android” and making it easier for “Linux, Java, and other developers to use Azure, through SDKs, tools plug-ins, and integration with technologies such as Chef, Puppet, and Docker.”Further reading: Microsoft, Open Source