I wasn’t aware of this, but in January 2016 the Linux Foundation quietly dropped community representation amongst its directors. Also, I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t a charity (unlike a lot of other open source foundations).
LF is an industry trade group not a “foundation” in the sense that we’re used to. They apparently dropped community representation when the community wanted someone who cares about license enforcement on the board.
This is a really sketchy move
I do have to question Microsoft’s motives. Yes, they have a reasonably new found interest in open source, but they’re still up to their old tricks - see, eg, Eugene Kaspersky’s recent post.
I can’t help but think this is all aimed at killing AWS. Linux subsystem for Windows, ever improving Azure support for Linux, support for FreeBSD on Azure… If they have you locked in to their cloud platform and switching costs are too high, the fact that you’re not running Windows won’t matter.
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If someone did s/Microsoft/Alphabet/g to that article, the move would be applauded.
Though, history and track record matters
Microsoft membership of the Linux Foundation is, IMHO, a good thing (much as with their donation to The OpenBSD Foundation in 2015, PS: donate!). I do wonder how things will pan out over the next few years - this new'ish found love of open source does seem at odds with other parts of Microsoft.
AV companies have a strange relationship with MS. I remember they all cried foul when MS included a basic anti-virus utility in Windows. “You’re stealing our customers!” But if you take a few seconds to think about what’s in the customer’s interest, we’ve been decrying the fact that after you buy Windows, you have to buy this extra cost addon to keep it safe (and pay monthly fees!). Microsoft finally does right by their users, and suddenly that’s a bad thing.
It’s a bit like Big Oil blaming car manufacturers for making vehicles that are too efficient.
Interesting blog post from Kaspersky. Thanks for linking it.
Despite Microsoft slowly killing off the independent security industry, so far, we’re the only ones who have bitten the bullet and decided to say something about this publicly.
I find that misleading. Valve was one of the first companies standing up to policy changes from Microsoft and that’s why we see such a huge gaming uptick on Linux:
So no I don’t believe Kaspersky is the David fighting the Goliath here.
Regarding Microsoft intentions. I don’t trust them also. They have a person on the Linux Foundation board as of now. Remember the last company that had a MS person on the board? Nokia? Elop? Rings a bell?
I applaud companies (including Microsoft) contributing largely to open source projects & the ecosystem. I recognize that. I am skeptical of their intentions though and what they can do with it if given enough leverage.
To be perfectly fair, I am also worried about Red Hat. The way SystemD is pushed feels like a strategy straight from the old Microsoft.