The Microsoft Open Technologies subsidiary was created by the shy and now retired Microsoft CEO Steve “there’s a kind of hush” Ballmer. At the time the world drew breath because it was the first time that Microsoft had done anything positive to embrace Open Source.
The weirdie beardies of the open source movement held victory celebrations – there was badger baiting in Crewe, and the Over 80’s nudist Linus Torvalds fanclub held a bring and buy sale.
In theory the loss of the Open Technology Unit should herald a time of mourning and an indication that Microsoft is returning to the dark days undermining Linux and all who sail in her. However it doesn’t.
Microsoft’s view of Open Source has evolved so much under Satya Nadella, that a separate subsidiary is simply no longer needed.
Jean Paoli, President, Microsoft Open Technologies wrote in his bog that during its operation, MS Open Tech has helped connect Microsoft with a number of open source communities.
“MS Open Tech’s projects have made 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. We’ve helped bring Microsoft’s services and APIs to iOS and Android. We’ve contributed to open source projects such as Apache Cordova, Cocos2d-x, OpenJDK, and dash.js. We’ve brought Office 365 to the Moodle learning platform. And we’ve helped connect the Open Web by collaborating with the industry on standards for HTML5, HTTP/2, and WebRTC/ORTC.”
All this means that open source has become a key part of Microsoft’s culture. Microsoft’s investments in open source ecosystems and non-Microsoft technologies are stronger than ever, and as we build applications, services, and tools for other platforms, our engineers are more involved in open source projects every day.
Gone are the days when Vole described Open Source as cancer. Microsoft engineers participate in nearly 2,000 open source projects on GitHub and CodePlex combined.
“Through open source collaborations, Microsoft has brought first-class support for Linux to Azure, worked with Docker to integrate it with Azure and Windows, built Azure HDInsight on Apache Hadoop and Linux, and delivered developer tools for Android and iOS, and for Node.js and Python. And Microsoft is actively building open source communities of its own,” Paoli said.
Microsoft will set up a new division called “Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office.”