Microsoft makes open source commitment with new partnerships involving Google, Linux, Samsung

Microsoft Corp. made some of its most significant strides towards being the more open company that CEO Satya Nadella often describes on Wednesday, as it joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member, welcomed Google Inc. to join the .Net Foundation, and partnered with Samsung Corp. for .Net developers to build apps on its devices.

Just a few years ago, the proprietary approach to source code that the software giant took would make these announcements unthinkable. But today, Microsoft says the partnerships will make its cloud platform, Azure, more flexible in building cross-platform apps and services. By embracing open source standards, Microsoft is allowing developers to code apps in the language of their choice and deploy those apps to more platforms.

It’s been Nadella’s message since he took the reins as Microsoft’s CEO.

By joining the Linux Foundation, Microsoft deepens the work that it started with .Net core application framework available as open source. It also gives the maker of Windows some level of input over the direction of the Linux OS. For those familiar with the history of Microsoft’s relationship with Linux, see the company take on this new role with the foundation is an unforeseen twist.

By allowing Google to join its own foundation, the .Net Foundation Technical Steering Group, the search giant can support its own open platform for developers that have embraced the popular .Net core.

“We don’t think of this as a beginning, we’ve been working years on .Net,” said Chris Sells, a senior product manager at Google, speaking on a Q&A panel at Microsoft’s Connect event in New York. “We’re happy to be part of the technical steering committee… we think of it as a much longer term thing.”

The move will also help Google Cloud Platform support enterprises looking to expand their public and hybrid cloud use, Sells writes in a blog post. Google has a lot of experience with the .Net foundation, already supporting the code stack on its infrastructure and offering libraries for its cloud services. It’s also built native support for Visual Studio and PowerShell on Google Cloud Platform.

Still, many were surprised by the announcement.

Samsung will also be supporting the .Net core for its commercial line of products, and gave a preview of its Visual Studio Tools for Tizen at Connect. Tizen is an OS that runs on Samsung’s TVs, wearables, and other mobile devices and IoT devices.


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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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