We Are An Open Source Company, Says Microsoft

Microsoft Loves Open Source

Microsoft sure has come a long way when it comes to commitment to open source software. So much so that it now sees itself as an open source company.

At least, in the words of, Lee Hickin, the technology chief over at Microsoft Australia.

He was attending the Red Hat Forum 2019, where the Microsoft CTO told delegates that while the irony of his presence at the event was not lost on him, his company has come a long way from the past where it had some choice words regarding open source software.

Comments like that infamous one that CEO Steve Ballmer made back in 2001 that described Linux and the General Public License as cancer.

Yet, a Microsoft official, speaking at an event hosted by one-time adversary and open source giant, Red Hat is proof that the software titan has evolved and transformed into an open source company — with more than 50% of the services now running on Azure being open source.

Red Hat OpenShift Logo

Hicken said:

“I recognize the irony of Microsoft here at an open source community event. I’m really proud to do that, and I’m humbled and privileged that we can be on the stage with Red Hat to share our story.


And I say that with my hand on my heart in a very serious way: We are an open source company, we are committed to open source, we’re committed to Red Hat, and we’re committed to continuing our engagement and our support to a broad open source community through a range of technologies, not least of which GitHub is one.”

The CTO also highlighted how the suite of tools that are currently available from Microsoft would have been previously unthinkable — particularly on the cloud front.

Hickin closed by saying that with over half of Azure now open, the platform can now pretty much be called an open source platform and open source stack. The catalyst for this shift from a proprietary approach to an open one was the maturing of the company’s Azure cloud business.

And let’s just say, there is no going back from here!

As for Red Hat, the company is now a major partner for Microsoft, after its record $34 billion acquisition by IBM in 2019. The two launched Azure Red Hat OpenShift as the latest collaboration on the Kubernetes container platform.

My, my, how times change!

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