Are Microsoft leading the way for Open Source?

After attending the open cloud keynote speaker at Microsoft Future Decoded 2017, it is astonishing how Microsoft and its old enemy Linux have become friends.

Let’s be clear how much things have changed – in 2001 Steve Ballmer said that:

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”

Now we have this:

This is a penguin that back in 2001 Steve Balmer would have ripped the heart out of and eaten.

While it is astonishing to witness such a shift in views from Microsoft towards its former rival, it makes sense. With the birth of major cloud providers and the types of services they offer, the competition has changed. Microsoft is no longer worried about little things like operating systems, making phones or competing with the likes of Oracle -and why should they be? Microsoft, Amazon and Google are the major cloud players and the more inclusive they are the better services they can offer.

This is why 40% of VMs in Azure are Linux and this number is growing. After all, for things like number crunching and High-Performance-Computing you can’t beat a bit of Linux. Which is probably why Microsoft are rapidly becoming a leading contributor to all things Open Source. For example, by working closely with Ubuntu to ensure that the Linux Operating System is optimised to run in Azure’s Hyper-V environment and the fact they are now the number one GitHub contributor.

If Microsoft had refused to incorporate Linux into Azure, I don’t think it would be one of the market leading public cloud providers that it is today. Well, they would have 40% less VMs for starters.

So, what does this mean for us? Well, it means that more people are working together to give us access to the best technology. Technology that most of us would never have had access to and now we can rent for a few shillings an hour. It is truly an exciting time for technology.

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