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Why has Microsoft pivoted into open source?

Microsoft was once an enemy of open source software. Linux, an open source operating system, was perceived as a threat to their revenues and platform. So was the open source software. 

Back in 2001, Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed that Linux is a “cancer” that threatened their intellectual property.

Five years later, they reconsidered. Looking at things from a different perspective, made them realize that open source is not something to be resisted, but adopted. 

In 2010, the industry turned towards cloud computing. Technologies powered by open source advanced. Red Hat and other companies that embraced open source were thrilled.  

With 20 percent of Azure running on Linux, Microsoft had no choice but to embrace open source to stay relevant. This was the biggest motivation for Microsoft to embrace Linux.

Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as a new CEO in February 2014. Under the new leadership, they opened sourced its core business. Since then, they have been transitioning their core business from licensed software to platform services. 

When asked about the move, Nadella told Wired he is not interested in fighting old battles. “Especially when, like it or not, Linux has become a vital part of today’s business technology”, he added.

He is frank that closed-source licensing as a profit model is a dead-end.

Microsoft realized and accepted that they can’t meet everyone’s needs. They admitted that projects, such as Hadoop, have a better way of doing things. The community like their way.

A notion “If you can’t beat them, join them” could be another motivation for embracing open source and Linux.  

John Gossman, a Microsoft Engineer, said “calling Linux a cancer was a fundamental misunderstanding of open source”. He said that Microsoft didn’t have many engineers who understood open source.

Content created and supplied by: sibongilem (via Opera News )

Linux Microsoft Red Hat Steve Ballmer Wired


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