Microsoft grants Azure credits to open source projects for a year

Microsoft is continuing to court open source developers with a new program that grants them Azure credits for their projects for a year.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has announced a program that will grant Azure credits to open source projects for a year. Any project in any technology with an Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license may apply, company officials said on September 28.

Developers will be able to use these credits for testing, storage or other development tasks. They'll be able to reapply in subsequent years to continue to get more credits.

In a Frequently Asked Questions section of a page about the program, officials explained the reasoning for the credits grant this way: "We are giving back to the open source ecosystem we participate in and depend on."

Microsoft officials said in 2018 that more than half of VM workloads on Azure were running on Linux. I don't believe Microsoft execs have provided an updated figure on that since then. But the company continues to release many of its own products and services under open source licenses and to try to court open source developers in a variety of ways.

Officials said they've already extended these credit grants to some high-profile as well as some smaller open source projects, including FreeBSD, Alma Linux, Haskell, Snakemate workflow management and Promitor.

Those interested can apply via the Azure Credits website.

Speaking of Microsoft and open source, 21-year Microsoft veteran John Gossman -- who was key to Microsoft's Linux strategy, partnerships and leader of the Open Source Ecosystem team -- recently retired from Microsoft. His most recent role was Distinguished Engineer and Vice President at Microsoft, where he was an Azure Architect. I believe Gossman is retiring from the industry and isn't moving to another company at this point. 

Gabe Monroy, who was with Microsoft for four and a half years, also recently announced he is leaving the company. Monroy was most recently Vice President of Product Management and headed the Azure Developer Experience PM Team in Microsoft's Developer Division. He was responsible for all Azure developer services. Monroy joined Microsoft when the company bought Kubernetes container-orchestration vendor Deis in 2017. Monroy has yet to announce publicly what he'll be doing next.

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