Microsoft joins Linux Foundation

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Microsoft joins Linux Foundation

Extends company's open source embrace.

Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member, bolstering its presence in the open source software community.

The membership of the Linux Foundation follows Microsoft staffers taking seats on other open source organisations: the company's principal program manager for Azure Container Service development, Ross Gardler, presently serves as the president of the Apache Foundation.

Microsoft, whose former chief executive Steve Ballmer famously called Linux a "cancer" because of how it is licensed, has changed tack over the years' and now takes a very different attitude towards open source software.

Apart from the Linux operating system kernel, the foundation has multiple open source project including the Node.js web development platform, the Hyperledger blockchain, and the Open Container Initiative as well as training programs that Microsoft participates in.

Several of its tools and resources, such as the .Net Core development platform, have been released as open source, and the next version of Microsoft's enterprise structured query language database, SQL Server 2016, will make an appearance on the Ubuntu Linux distribution as well as on Windows Server.

For systems management, Microsoft's Windows 10 desktop operating system can now run a preview version of the Bash command line interface found on many Linux distributions.

The company has also released plenty of software for Google's Android mobile operating system that also uses the Linux kernel, including its flagship Office productivity suite.

Visual Studio comes to macOS

Microsoft today officially announced the availability of a timebombed preview version of its main integrated development enviroment (IDE), Visual Studio for Apple's macOS.

It follows the release of the free Visual Studio Code programming editor for Apple's desktop operating system in April this year.

Visual Studio for Mac can be used to build apps for Apple's iOS and macOS, Google's Android operating system, cloud platforms, and wearables, Microsoft said.

Apps can be built for the above operating systems in Microsoft's C# language, with Microsoft's cross-platform Xamarin development tool included in Visual Studio for Mac.

The pre-release version of the fully-fledged Visual Studio is for evaluation purposes only, with Microsoft's licence specifically banning the external distribution of any apps developed with the IDE.

Testing Visual Studio in live operating environments is only allowed under a separate agreement with Microsoft, the licence for the IDE states.

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