Sam Ramji: Why Microsoft contributed to open source

Why Microsoft contributed to the GPL and what they plan to do with PHP

Sam Ramji, Senior Director of Platform Strategy joins us to talk about Microsoft’s recent open source code contribution to Linux. During the podcast Sam Ramji and I dive into details about the GPL'd Linux drivers, talk about how Microsoft worked with members of the community during their development, discuss why Microsoft submitted the drivers under the GPLv2 license, and examine what it took to gain consensus within Microsoft to open source the drivers under the GPL.

Sam also brings clarity to a related controversy of claims that Microsoft was forced to GPL the drivers because prior distributed driver code had linked to other GPL licensed code. In closing, Sam briefly talks about the importance Microsoft is placing in working with and support PHP on Windows Server.

Are we looking at a new Microsoft? Microsoft surprised, maybe even shocked, the industry by submitting three Linux drivers to the Linux kernel team licensed under the GPLv2 open source license. It’s certainly the most visible and significant open source contribution Microsoft has made to date. The Linux device drivers comprise 20,000 lines of code which optimize Linux when running under Hyper-V. The contributions are also important because we increasingly see signs that Microsoft recognizes the role of open source and the importance of supporting mixed Windows and Linux environments for their customers. (31:16)


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