Microsoft have stunned the Linux world by submitting source code for the kernel.  So when did this happen? On Monday the 20th of July 2009. Remember this date, mark it in your diaries.

So what did they submit?   The code consists of four drivers that are part of a technology called Linux Device Driver for Virtualization. These drivers, once added to the Linux kernel, will provide the hooks for any distribution of Linux to run on Windows Server 2008 and its Hyper-V hypervisor technology.  The surprising thing is that it was submitted for inclusion in the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license.

Now Microsoft will provide the ongoing maintenance of the code base and Linux backers have hailed the submission as validation of the Linux development model and the Linux GPLv2 licensing.

Personally I do not think this is the case. I think that Redmond does not do anything altruistic without an eye on future profit, and in this case MS have subtly positioned themselves to host any Linux based host on Hyper-V thus increasing its desirability and functionality.  That said this is still a watershed event for Microsoft and a vindication of the position that Linux has now reached in the Market place that MS actually believe that have to provide this code to include Linux as a supported OS on Hyper-V – what this effectively means is that all Linux Distros are seen as a threat to its OS hegemony, not just RedHat.

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Tom Howarth (70 Posts)

Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.

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