AOL joins Microsoft as sponsor of Outercurve Foundation

The open-source-focused Outercurve Foundation now has a second major backer, in addition to Microsoft.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

The Outercurve Foundation, three years after it was spun out by Microsoft, is getting a second sponsor: AOL.

The Foundation, which is dedicated to facilitating code exchange between corporations and the open-source community,  made the announcement on May 1.

According to a blog post, AOL is becoming a sponsor so it can transfer its internal open-source projects to the Foundation, "which eliminates the complexity of creating, funding and managing a separate foundation," in the words of Erynn Petersen, AOL SVP of Paid Services Engineering. “Outercurve sponsorship also will make it simpler for our partners to contribute to AOL-sponsored open source projects," Petersen added.

AOL's decision to become an Outercurve sponsor is not connected in any way with AOL's decision last month to sell hundreds of its patents to Microsoft -- which, in turn, is selling many of them to Facebook. (I asked and was told no.)

Microsoft spun off the not-for-profit CodePlex Foundation in 2009. The Foundation later took the name "Outercurve Foundation" to help reduce confusion between the Foundation and Microsoft's open-source repository, which is named CodePlex.com.

Outercurve's charter calls for it to be license- and project-agnostic. The group has positioned itself being complementary to other open-source foundations, rather than a rival to them.Microsoft has handed off a number of its open-source products and technologies to Outercurve in the past few years, including the Microsoft Research Trident project; the Orchard content management system; the NuPack package-management system; and the Mayhem open-source scripting app.

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