Microsoft a Top 20 Contributor to the Linux Kernel

Microsoft is now one of the top 20 contributors of code to the Linux kernel, according to a new report from the nonprofit Linux Foundation. It’s the first time Microsoft has appeared on the list.

Why do you think Microsoft waited so long to be a bigger part of Linux? Post your thoughts below. 

Microsoft hasn’t gone completely open-source of course. Its contributions to the kernel are still overshadowed by Red Hat, Novell, IBM and others. In fact, Microsoft is number 17 on the list, but even that low ranking is newsworthy because it signals the company now understands that its big customers will inevitably use open source technologies alongside its own products.

The Linux Foundation is excited:

Because Linux has reached a state of ubiquity, in which both the enterprise and mobile computing markets are relying on the operating system, Microsoft is clearly working to adapt. Over 75 percent of all kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work.

As the antithesis of what open source is all about, Microsoft still battles what it perceives as infringements all the time, (consider its patent claims against makers of Android devices), but this bit of Linux news hints at a bit of a paradigm shift for Steve Ballmer & Co. Is Microsoft loosening up?

2 Responses to “Microsoft a Top 20 Contributor to the Linux Kernel”

    • Jonathan Schultz

      I think that Microsoft is being realistic. The economy is colluding to make their business model unsustainable, in the shadows, so to speak, *nix has been cobbling together quite slick solutions to a number of business problems which inherently reflect their users needs faster and more appropriately. I think they just want to maintain relevance as the tides shift against the Microsoft ship.
      I think it’s great, but I won’t consider them fundamentally changed until they open source XP/2003, then I would be impressed…