The marriage of Microsoft and Linux – ZDNet

August 24, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

TORONTO — This is not your dad’s Microsoft. At LinuxCon, Wim Coekaerts, corporate VP of Microsoft Enterprise Open Source Group, came not merely to make peace with Linux, but to join forces with Linux and open-source software in a marriage of customer happiness.

Microsoft LinuxCon

Yes, Microsoft is a Diamond sponsor of LinuxCon. Things have changed! (Image: ZDNet)

Coekaerts, who joined Microsoft five months ago after heading Oracle’s Linux efforts for many years, knows many of you won’t buy this. In his LinuxCon keynote speech, Coekaerts admitted that “A year ago I would not have considered working for Microsoft, but Microsoft has changed.”

Coekaerts wasn’t easy to convince. But over several months of vetting Microsoft and its newfound love for Linux, he discovered that Microsoft has sincerely changed its approach toward Linux and open-source software.

Why? Because Coekaerts, told me in an interview, “Satya [Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO] is very customer-centric. If they run Linux, and they often do, we want to make them happy. We have to play in an open, heterogeneous world.”

This Microsoft sea-change has been coming over the last few years. Microsoft hired Coekaerts because it knew how important open-source is. In particular, “Azure, Microsoft’s cloud program, has to be open-source and Linux friendly.”