In 2015, Microsoft embraced Linux, Apple open-sourced its newest, hottest programming language, and the cloud couldn't run without Linux and open-source software. So, why can't people accept that Linux and open source have won the software wars?
I know way too many Linux users who think of Microsoft as "The Evil Empire." People, that was yesterday. Get over it.
To all this, I can hear some die-hard Linux fans screaming that Microsoft still forces Android companies to pay for what's almost certainly invalid Linux-related patents. Yes, yes, it does. Thanks to those 310 Linux-related patents Microsoft makes billions from Android. From Samsung alone, Microsoft makes a billion bucks a year for nothing except a promise Microsoft won't sue Samsung for patent violations.
Terrible right? Let me ask you a question. If you were making billions from patents, would you open them up? Donate them to the benefit of all via the Open Invention Network?
I don't think you would. And, I know darn well that no CEO of publicly-traded company can even think about giving away billions for the good will of a few programmers.
Eventually those patents will expire. When that happens, I don't see Microsoft going down the patent troll road. It's doing very well by embracing Linux, open-source software, and open-source development methods.
Now Apple won't go as far as Microsoft has. That's because Apple isn't really a software company. It's a vertically integrated hardware company. Apple doesn't want anything except its own software, or software it has a great deal of control over, running on its gadgets. So long as people love Apple gear and will pay a premium for it, Apple won't go for open source in a big way. Eventually, the shiny will rub off Apple and it'll need to get on the open-source bandwagon as well.
As for the cloud, which is where all IT work is headed, much of it already runs Linux and uses open-source server programs. As Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, said last fall , "one in four instances [on Azure] are Linux."