Microsoft Will Fund Open Source Foundation

Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner (bio)

A command line view of IT

From the ‘They Did What?!’ files:

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, though Ramji has also announced his plans to leave Microsoft this month. 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 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 separate 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 isn’t designed to solve.”

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