Ever since Microsoft announced that it “loves Linux” a palpable sense of scepticism and cynicism has been building within in the Linux community’s collective nervous system.
But is this reaction justified? Is Microsoft truly out to wrestle control of Linux? To ’embrace, extend and extinguish’ like the well-worn mantra proclaims?
Who better to ask than Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel.
ZDNet‘s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (svjn) put the question to Linus at recent Linux developer conference — and the newly-relaxed Finn’s opinion doesn’t deliver what some users might have wished to hear.
Linus is quoted as saying: “The whole anti-Microsoft thing was sometimes funny as a joke, but not really. Today, they’re actually much friendlier. I talk to Microsoft engineers at various conferences, and I feel like, yes, they have changed, and the engineers are happy.“
“And they’re like really happy working on Linux. So I completely dismissed all the anti-Microsoft stuff.”
And he has a point.
Despite the snipes, suspicious, and self-confident whispers of “just you wait…” Microsoft (under Satya Nadella, anyhow) has yet to show any ill-will or nefarious aims through its various open source initiatives and outreach.
From putting the Linux kernel at the heart of Windows 10 as part of WSL 2, to buying Github (where a lot of open source development takes place), to building its own open source apps, porting them to Linux, and sponsoring the Linux foundation… Microsoft is yet to put so much as toe nail, much less an entire foot, wrong.
“I don’t think [it’s true that Microsoft has bad intentions]. I mean, there will be tension. But that’s true with any company that comes into Linux; they have their own objectives. And they want to do things their way because they have a reason for it,” he’s reported as saying.
“Microsoft tends to be mainly about Azure and doing all the stuff to make Linux work well for them.”
So there you have it: Linus Torvalds, founder of Linux and steerer-in-chief of the world’s most widely used, adaptable, and popular computer kernel doesn’t think Microsoft are out to take over — or take out — Linux.
But call it a hunch: I don’t think Linus’ lack of concern over the one-time famously combative company will extend to the rest of the community — how about you?
H/T Ermine Granger; thanks Heidi