Snowballs In Hell? Microsoft Pledges Support For Open Source And Linux Joining Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Microsoft wasn't always particularly pro-open source. In fact, for much of its history, the software giant was very much focused on its own offerings often to the detriment of anything open source. That isn't the case today with Microsoft contributing to open source projects and developing versions of its popular programs like Skype specifically for Linux.

One of Microsoft's bread and butter products is Office, and there is a version of the Office suite that can be used on Linux thanks to Android. Android support is something Microsoft was forced to adopt due to Windows Phone's abysmal market share to get a foothold in the mobile world. Microsoft has now pledged even more support to the open source world and Linux in particular by becoming a platinum member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), part of the Linux Foundation. 

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Microsoft's John Gossman, Azure Architect, wrote in a post on the Azure blog:

I'm excited to share that we have just joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a Platinum member. CNCF is a part of the Linux Foundation, which helps govern for a wide range of cloud-oriented open source projects, such as Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing, Fluentd, Linkerd, containerd, Helm, gRPC, and many others. Since we joined the Linux Foundation last year, and now have decided to expand that relationship to CNCF membership as a natural next step to invest in open source communities and code at multiple levels, especially in the area of containers.

Gossman gets specific with some examples of Microsoft's participation including in Kubernetes where the software giant has contributed code to the project and runs Kubernetes as part of its Azure Container Service. Microsoft has also contributed to Helm, which was started by Dies (a company acquired by Microsoft). Helm is currently being developed and improved on by Microsoft engineers.

Containerd is another project where Microsoft engineers contribute code to expand support to Windows Containers. The final example is gRPC, which is a universal high-performance RPC framework that covers multiple languages, Microsoft has vowed to increase its participation with gRPC.

Gossman added, "Open source is a way to scale software development beyond what any single organization can do. It allows vendors, customers, researchers and others to collaborate and share knowledge about problems and solutions, like no other form of development... With all that in mind, I look forward to us working with the other CNCF members (most of whom we already know very well) to help make these projects awesome for everyone."