In 2001 the then CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer said the famous: "Linux is a cancer." In the following years the company attacked Linux as if it were a real cancer.
Over the years and while Linux was the number one enemy of Microsoft we reached the "love" of the new CEO of the company Satya Nadella.
Let's start at the beginning: Nadella told Wired that she's not interested in old-fashioned battles, especially when, whether she likes it or not, Linux has become a vital part of today's business technology. "Unless you do something new", Reported, you will not survive. ”
There is nothing new about Linux, at least not as Nadella means. But what does the CEO of Microsoft want to say?
To understand Nadella's vision we must always remember "Follow the money."
At the time of the election of the new CEO, the fate of Microsoft was no longer played on desktops and office software. The Azure cloud program launched in February 2010 and the Office 365 program launched in June 2010 had requirements.
Linux is also used even in the Azure cloud by large and small businesses.
At the same time, Microsoft is well aware that Azure is the only purely proprietary cloud, and all the competition (Amazon Web Services, Google Compute, OpenStack, etc.) - all run on Linux and offer Linux server services. If Microsoft insisted on Steve Ballmer's path, it would have no chance.
Microsoft loves Linux because it makes them money.
The company will probably never release products like Office for Linux (although it is now possible through a web interface and Office 365) and will never have APIs made exclusively for Windows. None of these actions would be of tangible benefit to the company.
But it can take.
Developers write a few lines of code as a contribution to the open source platform is not comparable to what Microsoft is gaining.
Of course the few lines of code I mention above are not few. Until 2011, Microsoft had become the fifth largest code contributor in the Linux kernel.
To be sure that Linux could work with Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. And Hyper-V is at the heart of Azure.
Introducing Microsoft executives to the top management of the Linux Foundation was the next step. The a senior executive was added to an already split board, and so today we have Microsoft veterans speaking on behalf of the Foundation. Only Microsoft knows the goal, and it will probably never be announced.
As you can see, Microsoft's love for Linux and open source is not so altruistic.
From 2014 onwards, people are starting to abandon the old computing standards for cloud services. Microsoft already had a position, but to continue to hold it it would have to play well with everyone else. Yes, even with Linux.