​Head of Oracle Linux moves to Microsoft

The man who turned Oracle into a Linux power, Wim Coekaerts, has moved to Microsoft.

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - While at the Linux Collaboration Summit, I discovered that Wim Coekaerts, formerly Oracle's Senior VP of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, has left Oracle for Microsoft.

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Wim Coekaerts

Coekaerts is a very well-known Linux leader. In Oracle he was known as "Mr. Linux." In his Oracle tenure, he brought the company its first Linux products; moved Oracle's programming staff from Windows to Linux desktops; and turned Oracle into a Linux distributor with the launch of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux.

Microsoft confirmed that it had enticed Coekaerts to leave Oracle for Microsoft. Mike Neil, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Cloud, told me, "Wim Coekaerts has joined Microsoft as Corp VP of Open Source in our Enterprise Cloud Group. As we continue to deepen our commitment to open source, Wim will focus on deepening our engagement, contributions and innovation to the open-source community."

Coekaerts joins Microsoft as the company has made unheard of moves into Linux. Besides embracing Linux on its Azure cloud and investing in open-source projects, Microsoft has done what sounds at first like an April Fool's joke: it brought Ubuntu to Windows 10.

Since Coekaerts is best known for transforming Oracle into a Linux-dominated company, one can only imagine what plans he and Microsoft have together. MS-Linux, at least as a cloud-specific distribution, no longer seems like such a pipe dream.

Interesting times lie ahead for both Microsoft and Linux.

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