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July 19, 2009

Microsoft releases source code to Linux kernel community

To improve interoperability between the Windows platform and open source technologies

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft, as a part of its plan to collaborate with the open source software community, has released 20,000 source code lines to the Linux kernel community to improve the performance of Linux when run in a virtualised environment on Windows Server 2008.

Sam Ramji, senior director of Platform Strategy in Microsoft’s Server and Tools organization, said: “We are seeing Microsoft communities and open source communities grow together, which is ultimately of benefit to our customers. There’s mutual benefit for customers, for Microsoft, and for commercial and community distributions of Linux, to enhance the performance of Linux as a guest operating system where Windows Server is the host.

Ramji said that this move is a part of the company’s strategy to improve interoperability between the Windows platform and open source technologies as a result of customer demand. He added that reducing the complexity of virtualisation helps companies save money in the current economic scenario.

The code released under the GPLv2 license is for three Linux device drivers. Microsoft said that the license was requested by Linux and the code can be used and redistributed by anybody free of cost.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux Foundation, said: “We see the move by Microsoft to submit its device driver code to the Linux kernel as a validation of the open source development model and the GPLv2 license. Even if a bit overdue, we applaud Microsoft for recognizing the value of collaboration in order to compete in today’s IT market.”

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