Microsoft announced today that it is joining Linux Foundation as a high-paying Platinum member.
"This may come as a surprise to you, but they were not big fans," said Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin. Linux Platinum members are those who are high-paying to the company.
Microsoft is one of the biggest open source contributors around the world. Over the last few years, it has essentially built Canonical's Ubuntu distribution into Windows 10, brought SQL server to Linux, open sourced core parts of its .NET platform and partnered with Red Hat, SUSE and others.
As Zemlin noted, Microsoft has also contributed to a number of Linux Foundation-managed projects like Node.js, OpenDaylight, the Open Container Initiative, the R Consortium and the Open API Initiative.
Despite all that, this announcement will come as a surprise for many people, given that Microsoft and Linux community always felt like they were at war and never really got along.
Zemlin although, acknowledged, "There will be some skepticism, but that will be from a smaller group."
"There is an anti-establishment sentiment in open source. That's natural," he pointed out.
He added that whenever a major corporation goes open source, that's what happens. But he also noted that Microsoft has been "walking this talk for a very long time" now.
According to the TechSpot, Microsoft has launched the first preview of Visual Studio for Mac and a nearly-final version of Visual Studio 2017 for Windows. Microsoft officials tell ZDNet that the final / general availability version of Visual Studio 2017 should be ready by early 2017.
Microsoft has changed pretty radically since the days when co-founder and then-CEO Bill Gates declared its goal to be "a computer on every desk and in every home, running Microsoft software."
It has dumped unprofitable businesses like portable music players, made Office free on some devices, and adapted to a world in which many developers use multiple languages and products interchangeably.