Microsoft Open Source vs Walled Gardens

Microsoft Open Source vs Walled Gardens

Amazon recently announced that it’s buying Whole Foods for just under $14 billion, the retailer’s largest acquisition ever. The purchase holds implications for the future of groceries, the entire food industry, and – as hyperbolic as this might sound – the future of shopping. This has given Amazon a powerful new touchpoint in their vertical competition pipeline between marketers and consumers – but the pitched battle in vertical competition today is who controls exclusive client interfaces. Bezos is doing everything in his power to gain traction in the last mile to consumers only applications, devices, and now the way people shop – what a pretty walled garden.

Walled gardens is not a new concept, remember the open source battle. As an exclusive Microsoft Gold partner over the past 26 years, QuantiQ has seen a massive shift towards all things open and sharing. Some of our findings below…

Times have changed

Microsoft has completely overhauled its corporate kernel. The company whose former CEO once called open source Linux a “cancer” is now regularly open sourcing tools, components and even the occasional product, as well as coming out with more cross-platform products than ever, even for Linux, but it hasn’t always been that way. Microsoft’s notorious tendency to keep developers and consumers within its walled gardens is gone. Open source has won, and Microsoft has surrendered.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced that Microsoft has become a completely open source company. Good news for all developers, Microsoft recently announced that they are dropping the portals source code for all to use which allows the use of portals on CRM onPremise!

Microsoft has come a long way in its effort to initially warm up to and later adopt open source software – the progress went from small skunkworks projects to full-fledged adoption and now supporting more than 10,000 engineers contributing to open source.

Out with the old and in with the new

The old Microsoft wanted to implement a locked-down walled gardens approach. The company wanted you on its products, in its cloud and on its machines. The new Microsoft is far more egalitarian, going to where its consumers are instead of trying to herd them into its corral.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella described the transformation:

“Accessibility is not a bolt-on. It’s something that must be built into every product we make so that our products work for everyone.”

If you are buying or building a Windows device, Microsoft has lowered the barriers of entry. Microsoft has torn down the vertical barriers that locked you into, or out of, the system. If you want to use a Microsoft app, you can find it on whatever platform or device you are using, not just on Windows.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation said:

“Microsoft has grown and matured in its use of and contributions to open
source technology. The company has become an enthusiastic supporter of Linux
and of open source and a very active member of many important projects.
Membership is an important step for Microsoft, but also for the
open source community at large, which stands to benefit from
the company’s expanding range of contributions.”

What is Microsoft doing with open source?

.NET, TypeScript, the Chakra JavaScript engine, R Tools for Visual Studio, Azure’s Service Fabric, the VS Code IDE, Team Explorer Everywhere for Eclipse, the Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio, the Power BI framework for building visualisations, the impressive Computational Network Toolkit for deep learning, the AIX tools you can use to build AI in Minecraft, and many more.

Culture change

Rather than changing the commercial basis of Microsoft’s business, open source at Microsoft is about a change in culture, collaboration with the open source community – and the cloud.

As Microsoft has opened up generally, to partnerships and cross-platform support and a more cross-division way of working internally, open source has spread internally – and that includes ‘internal open source’ where other Microsoft teams get access to source code that a product team would once have kept to themselves. 

Open-source is a lucrative and growing movement

Those of us in the open source software community understand that any open technology not only brings visibility and transparency to what’s under the hood, but also provides an opportunity to improve or enhance it. As the virtual revolution continues, new industry players are emerging ready to take-on the market’s dominating forces. Now is the time for the innovators to strike and to stake a claim in this lucrative and growing movement. 

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