(Business Insider/Julie Bort)
If you're a Linux or open source developer, Microsoft wants to work with you, and maybe even hire you.
He told the 1,700-person crowd of open source and Linux coders to "Pass your resumes up," reports ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.
He also showed a slide with nearly 500 job openings for those who know Linux, and another 330 openings for open source-related jobs outside the US.
Years ago, Microsoft was at war with Linux and the whole free and open-source software movement.
The free operating system called Linux is by far the most successful competitor to Windows in the data center. It's used by supercomputers, big internet companies (Facebook, Google, and many others) and is in nearly every corporate data center, too.
But Microsoft's focus under CEO Satya Nadella is all about the cloud, and less about protecting its Windows operating system empire.
"It's obvious. If we don't support Linux, we'll be Windows only and that's not practical," Russinovich told the crowd.
That's true. Microsoft today doesn't care what OS you use just so long as you are using it on Microsoft's cloud, Azure. Either way is money in Microsoft's pocket. And one-quarter of all the servers being rented by Azure customers are using Linux today, Russinovich said.
Microsoft even went so far as to develop its own flavor of Linux, it told a stunned development community in September.
That's why Microsoft is constantly telling the world these days that Microsoft loves Linux.
Apparently, it even had buttons made up:
But getting Linux experts to love Microsoft back is another thing altogether.
Many people in this community still distrust the software giant in part because Microsoft is still striking up patent license agreements with companies that use Linux and its derivative, Android, for their devices.
On the other hand, perhaps Nadella is feeling done with the Linux/Android patent lawsuit nonsense. Earlier this month Microsoft settled its longstanding Android patent lawsuit with Google, giving up on its claims that Google, through its short-lived ownership of Motorola Mobility, owes it a bunch of licensing fees for Android.
If it really does give that drive up, then Microsoft will win some real street cred from Linux and open source developers, which should help it fill those jobs.
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