Until recently Microsoft has never been a big fan of Linux. The company has long had a well earned reputation as an enemy of Linux, and open source software in general. But recent comments from Microsoft executives seem to indicate a change of heart regarding Linux.
ZDNet examines the reasons why Microsoft suddenly has love in its heart for Linux.
According to ZDNet:
Microsoft, of course, also makes money directly from Linux. Its Android patents, questionable as they may be, still provide a billion dollars more in profits than does Windows Phone.
You see, it's not so much Linux and open source per se that Microsoft has a crush on. It's that, in 2014, the world is leaving the old desktop/application computing paradigm for a device/cloud services approach. Microsoft ruled the former; however, to continue to be a contender in the later, it's realized that it needs to work and play well with others. Yes, even Linux.
As the article notes: Follow the money. To me that is clearly the reason why Microsoft has recently tried to embrace Linux. It simply has no other choice if it wants to remain relevant, particularly in the cloud. The company has lost a lot of the leverage it used to have with Windows.
I can understand Microsoft's need to protect its profits and revenue streams, but I must say that I'm unimpressed by this sudden change of heart. There are no principles involved, no larger awareness of the virtues of open source and Linux, and no sense of obligation or responsibility to the open source community. It's simply a strategic move to position Microsoft to profit from Linux and other open source software.
Frankly, it comes across to me as self-serving and somewhat disingenuous. Does anyone doubt that Microsoft would still destroy Linux and open source if it had the power to do so? Despite the change in CEO, I have no doubt that - if it thought it could get away with it - the company would smash Linux into a thousand pieces. There is just too much history of such behavior for me to ever believe otherwise about Microsoft.
I guess we should be thankful that the world has changed, and that Microsoft will never have such power again. Their fangs have been mostly removed, and their bark is much worse than their bite these days. But you'll have to excuse me if I remain unimpressed by their sudden love of Linux. Frankly, it leaves me rather cold.
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