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Cloud and IoT Drive Microsoft to Join Linux Foundation

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Guess they don’t call it Microsoft Connect for nothing. At the vendor’s annual Connect developer event held yesterday in New York, Microsoft announced, among other things, that it joined the Linux Foundation — embracing the Open Source community and open source development — and expanding the tools that its developer partners could use.

This latest announcement takes Microsoft further down the open source path that it’s been on in recent years.

“Microsoft’s commitment to working with open source extends beyond products to working side-by-side with standards bodies and foundations, who are creating technology in the open and accelerating commercial adoption,” Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft wrote in a blog post. “That’s why we’re excited today to formally join the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. This builds on our work with the foundation, including the creation of a Linux on Azure certification.”

On its website, The Linux Foundation acknowledged that from cloud computing and networking to gaming, Microsoft has steadily increased its engagement in open source projects and communities. The company is currently a leading open source contributor on GitHub and earlier this year announced several milestones that indicate the scope of its commitment to open source development. The company released the open source .NET Core 1.0; partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10; worked with FreeBSD to release an image for Azure; and after acquiring Xamarin, Microsoft open sourced its software development kit. In addition, Microsoft works with companies such as Red Hat, SUSE and others to support their solutions in its products.

Additionally, Microsoft is already a contributor to several Linux Foundation projects such as Node.js Foundation, OpenDaylight, Open Container Initiative, R Consortium and Open API Initiative.{ad}

For Microsoft partners, the company’s continued commitment to open source is tied to opportunities in cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT). Guggenheimer pointed to IDC forecasts for worldwide public cloud service revenue of $141.2 billion by 2019 with over 60 percent of enterprises embracing open source and open APIs as the underpinning for cloud integration strategies by next year.

Microsoft’s investments in open source technologies and open standards, enables their partner ecosystem to use their existing skills to reach a large and growing base of customers, Guggenheimer said, pointing to other recent announcements made by the company.

At the Connect event, for example Microsoft announced the SQL Server v.Next preview, which brings that power of SQL Server to Linux. In April, Microsoft partnered with Red Hat — Red Hat Enterprise Linux runs in Azure and Microsoft .NET apps run on Red Hat’s OpenShift. In addition, they have open sourced Xamarin and released the open source-friendly Azure Container Services.

On the IoT front, the nonprofit Linux Foundation in February announced the Zephyr Project, an open source collaborative effort to build a real-time a operating system for IoT. The organization also promotes the OpenIoT Summit focused on the development of open IoT solutions.


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