Microsoft has announced that it's joining the Linux Foundation. The non-profit group advances open technology development and promotes Linux, and Microsoft has signed up as a Platinum member, the highest-ranking option that comes with a $500,000 annual fee.
Other Platinum Linux Foundation members include Cisco, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm and Samsung.
Microsoft explained that John Gossman, an architect on the Microsoft Azure team, will sit on the foundation’s board of directors and help underwrite projects.
Remarking on the announcement, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin said: "Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open source technology.
"The company has become an enthusiastic supporter of Linux and of open source, and a very active member of many important projects.
"Membership is an important step for Microsoft, but also for the open source community at large, which stands to benefit from the company’s expanding range of contributions."
Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, added: "As a cloud platform company we aim to help developers achieve more using the platforms and languages they know.
"The Linux Foundation is home not only to Linux, but many of the community’s most innovative open source projects. We are excited to join the Linux Foundation and partner with the community to help developers capitalise on the shift to intelligent cloud and mobile experiences."
Another surprise announcement at Microsoft's Connect developer conference in New York was that Google is joining the .NET Foundation, the independent non-profit that Microsoft set up in 2014 to oversee the community around the .NET Programming Framework.
Samsung, already a member of the .NET Foundation, announced that it will release a preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen, allowing developers to build .NET applications for Samsung's non-Android devices.
Microsoft released a public preview edition of the previously announced SQL Server database product for Linux, and announced a preview of Azure App Service for Linux and plans to bring Visual Studio to the Mac.
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