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Microsoft Heading The Open Source Direction

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul. It is part of a series of articles on Kaan Demircan’s session at Startup Istanbul.

Kaan Demircan is a Turkish/American living in Istanbul. He is also a big Open Source enthusiast that has always been interested in working on innovative projects. For almost four years he had worked in Red Hat as an Infrastructure Solution Architect working in the META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) region based in Dubai and Istanbul.

After years and years of developing and producing close source programs and tools, big companies now started a new tactic of going into open source. Why is that? Let’s know about that.

Microsoft has been ever since founded a company that doesn’t deploy open source tools as products, but in the last years they began a new strategy of going into open sourcing. Microsoft is going into a transformation phase where it is not only transforming in technology but their culture as well. The main reason Microsoft is now focusing on open source is due to the studies made that shows that the high percentage of technical people use open source tools. Almost all of technical people actually apply these open sourced tools in their work. Open Source simply became a trend.

In 2014, Microsoft has made a 180 degree change and that was when Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft. He made that massive change within the culture Microsoft had for long, it was by then that Linux wasn’t despised as an open source but loved because of that same reason! He said and I quote “Judge us by the actions we taken in the recent past, our actions today and in the future.” Saying so, if a company is going into the right direction and help you towards it then go with it and work with them, don’t let your old thoughts hold you from a great change, and Open Source was that change for Microsoft.

Since Microsoft said they loved Linux, probably due the cultural transformation towards applying the open source strategy, the company has accomplished much into that transformation as Microsoft has joined many of the open-source foundations. In addition to that, Microsoft has created the .NET foundation which is a free, cross-platform, open source developer platform for building many different types of applications [2]. They have joined the Linux foundation, the Cloud Native foundation and every other foundation you can see innovation happen within the open-source community.

What is remarkable for sure is that a huge part of this innovation and contributing on open source products happens on GitHub, which is a development platform inspired by the way you work. From open source to business, you can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside 31 million developers [3]. And some of what you hear about acquisition of GitHub might be true and really happening but that isn’t all what GitHub is about, the reason why you should consider what huge things are done in places like GitHub.

Microsoft has released many software products that they have integrated into the community, they have gone into community projects like the Linux project and submitted thousands lines of code and Microsoft paid engineers to contribute to this community. Year 2014 had a total of 93,539 of commits done within GitHub, this number will rise drastically to 2 million commits done within GitHub by 5,000 Microsoft engineers whether the projects were community projects or projects submitted into the community.
Open Source is a huge change towards a massive development and improved innovation in the near future! And to work with open source remember to be innovating, contributing and enabling.

04 July 2019

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