Microsoft today is spinning up a new 501.c non-profit effort as a forum to support open source community projects. The new effort is called the CodePlex Foundation and it builds on the efforts of Microsoft’s Codeplex site.
The timing of this foundation, during the same week in which it was revealed that Microsoft was allegedly trying to unload anti-Linux patent is somewhat curious, don’t you think?
The foundation is initially being funded by Microsoft and will be led by Microsoft’s Sam Ramji (**UPDATED** Ramji is leaving Microsoft on September 25th) . Novell’s Miguel de Icaza will be part of the new foundation’s Board of Directors (don’t forget Microsoft and Novell have an interop and patent deal).
So why does Microsoft need its own open source foundation? And what’s the difference vs what they are doing with Codeplex.com anyways?
A Microsoft FAQ on the new foundation notes that Codeplex was started in 2006 as a project hosting site that met the needs of commercial developers. The Foundation is related but is a seperate effort.
“The Foundation is
solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and
commercial software developers together in a place where they can
collaborate,” the foundation FAQ states. “This is absolutely independent from the project hosting
site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is
just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that
Codeplex.com isn’t designed to solve.”