Microsoft over the years have been using Open Source tools and technology in driving their business and for that, I wish to highlight the shift in their business model and how they are adopting as a company – primarily due to the disruption of Open Source software.
As the popular saying goes: if you can’t beat them; join them. Dominant players in the IT space are experiencing major disruption to their business model. Microsoft is no exception, as they have seen their customers gravitates to more reliable, portable and efficient open source alternative.
Before we highlight their pivotal moments, let me say that I was right. I hereby claim victory over those never-ending college debates we often had at UTECH SCIT gazebo. A group of us were engaged in a multi-year debate on which platform (Windows vs Linux) is the most powerful. On this day, I shall finally rest my case.
Their transition has been happening at multiple levels. From their approach and support for Open Source solutions all the way to the main subsystems of their platform. Let us look a few of those changes:
- From Balmer’s hatred of OSS to his love of the technology.
- From their absence in Open Source community to becoming a major contributor to the Linux Foundation
If that wasn’t enough evidence, here are some additional change in their technology:
- Open Source of C# – something I never thought would’ve happened in my lifetime.
- From their utilization of git to a $7.5 billion acquisition
- The creating of a custom Linux kernel to be used on their internal subsystems.
- Their inclusion of Linux based OS in their Azure cloud infrastructure.
What does this mean for the Open Source Community?
This clearly shows the power & potential of the Open Source community. Companies who embrace Open Source technologies have seen major improvements and added reliability without. Microsoft has fully embrace Open Source, with this level of endorsement will send a signal to the remaining opponents of Open Source software.
Going forward, what does it mean?
While past giants failed to adapt and eventually witness the demise of their business, Microsoft, on the other hand, continues to adopt by pivoting their approach. They are becoming more of a service company. Case in point, their cloud infrastructure and their SaaS approach to the future releases of Microsoft Windows also their push in IoT.
From a technical perspective, Microsoft will experience the added benefits in areas such as security and flexibility. These can only be a win-win all the major stakeholders including the end users and the IT sector.
I personally welcome their approach, in hopes that it will lead to greater integration in both aspects.
So welcome Microsoft to the winning team!
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