Microsoft/Linux milestones

Microsoft has had a checkered past with both Linux and its open source GPL licensing structure

Microsoft Monday made an historic move by submitting device drivers to the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license.

Microsoft stuns Linux worldA watershed event for MicrosoftMicrosoft's Linux submission raises virtualization questionsLinux driver chief went looking for Microsoft  Microsoft Linux move puts pressure on VMware

1998

Internal Microsoft "Halloween memos" attacking Linux leak out.

2001

May -- Craig Mundie, Microsoft senior vice president, says the GPL poses a threat to the intellectual property of any organization making use of it. 

June -- CEO Steve Ballmer one-ups Mundie, calling Linux a "cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works."

2002

May -- Then-Microsoft chairman Bill Gates equates the GPL to anti-capitalism at a Government Leaders' Conference in Seattle.

2003

Microsoft begins its Get the Facts campaign extolling virtues of Windows over Linux. The campaign is disbanded in 2007.

2004

November -- Ballmer says Windows provides better intellectual property indemnification than its open source rivals.  

2005

September -- An oblivious recruiter sends vocal open source advocate Eric Raymond an e-mail pitch seeking his interest in a position at Microsoft

2006

March -- Microsoft opens Port 25, which is billed as an open source community at Microsoft

June -- Microsoft begins hosting Codeplex, a Web storage site for developers.  

November -- Microsoft and Novell enter business and technology partnership to provide integration between Linux and Windows, including a joint interoperability lab in Cambridge, Mass. 

2007

May -- Microsoft claims Linux and open source violates 235 of its patents. 

2008

July -- Microsoft makes $100,000 investment in Apache Foundation to become one of only three Platinum sponsors of the Apache Foundation (Yahoo and Google are the others).  

July -- Microsoft makes first code contribution to PHP, a patch to ADOdb, a data access layer for PHP. 

2009

July -- Microsoft submits device driver source code for inclusion in the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license. 

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John Fontana

Network World
Topics: Linux, open source, gpl, Microsoft
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