The world has gone crazy: Microsoft is shaping the future of Linux
The use of a Bash console within Windows 10 was a utopia a few years ago, but Microsoft’s love for Linux and Open Source continues to grow .
It did so with the arrival of joint certifications or with the arrival of Ubuntu (and OpenSuSE, and Fedora) and the Windows Store, but there is a last-minute surprise: Microsoft is hiring various Linux kernel developers with a clear objective: to promote the development of this operating system.
It is true that at the moment Microsoft is not among those that contribute most to the development of Linux – it is ranked 47 of the top contributors to the kernel according to the list managed by The Linux Foundation – but that could change in the short term.
The reason? That Microsoft is hiring more and more Linux kernel developers to do the same work from Redmond. Matthew Wilcox, Paul Shilovsky or Stephen Hemminger (who had criticized Microsoft in 2009) are already part of a team of 12 people who are working on different kernel features.
This was indicated by Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the most responsible for the management of the Linux kernel, who explained that these developers “are contributing in several areas of the kernel (memory management, basic code structures, network infrastructure), the system of CIFS files, and of course many contributions for Linux to work better in their Hyper-V systems.”
Microsoft as a risk for Open Source
Why is Microsoft doing all this? Obvious: platforms like Azure have long since welcomed Linux , so getting this operating system to work optimally on its cloud platform could be key to winning the game to other alternatives from companies like Amazon, Google or IBM, for example.
Certainly here the logical doubts of a company that for almost two decades denied the validity of the Open Source proposals could appear. Although it seems logical to think that Microsoft is interested in helping to improve Linux in the areas that she is interested in, that could come into conflict with the future that the community would want Linux to address.
The truth is that in the end the development of the Linux kernel is no longer in the hands of independent developers , and now companies such as Intel, AMD, IBM or Google have hired a large number of developers who in some way outline Linux in the image of those who they are hiring you
Here, however, it should be noted that the Linux kernel’s development philosophy is directed by Linus Torvalds or legendary maintainers, such as the aforementioned Kroah-Hartman. For some time now, they and other developers have been very clear about where Linux should go, so it does not seem that the involvement of Microsoft or other large companies could severely affect the Linux bases.
Meanwhile, yes, we continue to be surprised by the involvement of Microsoft in Linux and Open Source. That the pace does not seem, because as they pointed in Infoworld, the world has turned upside down and it seems that certainly ” pigs can fly “.