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Microsoft sponsors Apache

By   |  July 28, 2008

Microsoft has become a platinum sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation, custodians of the open source Apache web server.

That translates into at least US$100 000 a year that Microsoft will donate to the foundation, funds the Apache team can spend on paying to run its support services.

The announcement was made by Microsoft’s director of platform strategy, Sam Ramji, during a speech at the Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon on Friday. Ramji also gave details of the sponsorship on Microsoft’s Port25 blog.

Ramji said that while Microsoft was sponsoring the ASF this did not mean Microsoft was abandoning IIS as its web server technology.

“We have invested significantly in refactoring and adding new, state-of-the-art features to IIS, including support for PHP. We will continue to invest in IIS for the long term and are currently under way with development of IIS 8,” Ramji said.

Apache is, by many metrics, the most widely-used web server on the Internet today.

Over the past six months Microsoft has announced an ever increasing number of ways it plans to develop closer ties with the open source community including supporting ODF in Microsoft Office, playing a role in the future development of ODF, and improving document interoperability.


6 Responses to “Microsoft sponsors Apache”

  1. J'han
    July 29th, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    So they’re going forward with IIS, yet they’re funding the direct competition?

    So what are they really after then? The only thing I can think of, is that they are buying goodwill.

    It’s like bribing a child with candy.

    I hope they aren’t wondering why people won’t trust/respect them…

  2. Chris
    August 2nd, 2008 @ 11:54 am

    My guess is this is just like the apple bailout; MS is trying to make sure they aren’t a literal monopoly, just a de facto one.

  3. Tectonic » Users made us more open - Microsoft
    August 4th, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

    […] talked about Microsoft’s well publicised announcements around interoperability and its recent support for the Apache […]

  4. Dewald
    August 8th, 2008 @ 7:57 pm

    I think you are adopting the wrong attitude @J’han and @Chris…. I think the opensource community needs to look at this from a holistic approach… Microsoft is still pretty much the defacto standard in many forms in most of the corporate world, and the fact that they are embracing and now even partially funding OSS initiatives means they are taking the correct approach to Open Standards and OSS.

    By incorporating open standards and increasing interoperability initiatives, Microsoft is actually helping the Open source world increase awareness and usability. By supporting Apache and opening up Expression Web for PHP support, they are not only giving PHP developers a chance to better integrate applications for Windows, but giving Windows-base Web developers a chance to better explore the Apache environment, thereby I feel diluting the lines to an completely transparent and agnostic web hosting environment. This is good to increase understanding from both sides of the software world.

    If you have had a look at the Microsoft world and the company in the last couple of years, they have tried to shed their image of being the bad ugly big brother and have starting opening themselves as a company to not only the Open Source world, but to their user base and customers as well. They actively support the developers writing applications on their platforms, integrate with open standards, and have really made an effort to increase their role in fair business. Maybe the whole fanatical OSS movement needs to shed their perceptions of yesteryear and understand that dynamics, people and companies change, even monopolies. Look at a company for what it is now and what they are doing now, not 10 years ago. Progress moves forward, not in reverse.

  5. J'han
    August 11th, 2008 @ 7:45 am


    Sure, I understand that dynamics, people and companies change. Maybe I’m just not tuned into the news enough to see the trend you’re speaking of, because I still don’t trust their motives.

    Anyway, what I think doesn’t matter all that much, because they’ll do whatever they think they need to, and the community at large will respond in some appropriate way – and I’m sure the world will be a better place for it.


  6. Tectonic » Microsoft adds Drupal, Wordpress support
    October 21st, 2008 @ 8:18 am

    […] it’s good to see Microsoft recognising yet more open source projects, as it has done with Apache and JQuery, it is still worrying to see that the behind the scenes Microsoft’s lawyers have […]

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