Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation


If you can’t beat ’em join ’em. After Steve Ballmer called Linux a cancer, Microsoft joins the Linux Open Source campaign.

“This may come as a surprise to you, but they were not big fans,” Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin told me about his foundation’s history with Microsoft. The new Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella, however, is singing a very different tune. Today’s Microsoft is one of the biggest open source contributors around.


After a long campaign against open source and Linux, Microsoft has for the past few been pushing its love of the popular operating system. On Wednesday, the company made that even more official by joining the Linux Foundation, an organization that shepherds development of the operating system’s kernel and provides funding for open source projects.


Microsoft CEO and incontinent over-stater of facts Steve Ballmer said that “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” during a commercial spot masquerading as a interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on June 1, 2001.


Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training, and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company.

The membership of The Linux Foundation includes companies that are leaders in the delivery and strategic use of open source technologies. With hundreds of members, including Amazon, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Oracle, and Red Hat, as well as the startups and mid-market enterprises, we are driving innovation worldwide.