July 20, 2009

Microsoft Becomes a Linux Kernel Contributor

Article Source Dissociated Press
July 20, 2009, 10:13 am

You read that right — Microsoft has become a contributor to the Linux kernel. Microsoft and Greg Kroah-Hartman have posted about this in more detail, so I’d encourage you to go read those posts for the full details. The long and short of it, though, is that Microsoft has contributed roughly 20,000 lines of code to the Linux kernel related to their Hyper-V drivers.

As Greg says, this is no different from any other company contributing to the Linux kernel — lots of companies are becoming  contributors to the kernel, so why not Microsoft? On the other hand, it’s Microsoft, so it is a kind of big deal that they have come 180 degrees to become a kernel contributor. This really underscores the importance of the Linux Driver Project that Greg has been working on.

It also underscores the importance of having an open dialog with companies. This week, I’m in San Jose for OSCON. A little more than 10 years ago, I was in San Jose for LinuxWorld Expo, and the idea of Microsoft contributing a kernel driver or three was just out of the question. A lot changes in time, if you’re open to it.

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